Experimental characterization of extreme events of inertial dissipation in a turbulent swirling flow

Abstract : The three-dimensional incompressible Navier–Stokes equations, which describe the motion of many fluids, are the cornerstones of many physical and engineering sciences. However, it is still unclear whether they are mathematically well posed, that is, whether their solutions remain regular over time or develop singularities. Even though it was shown that singularities, if exist, could only be rare events, they may induce additional energy dissipation by inertial means. Here, using measurements at the dissipative scale of an axisymmetric turbulent flow, we report estimates of such inertial energy dissipation and identify local events of extreme values. We characterize the topology of these extreme events and identify several main types. Most of them appear as fronts separating regions of distinct velocities, whereas events corresponding to focusing spirals, jets and cusps are also found. Our results highlight the non-triviality of turbulent flows at sub-Kolmogorov scales as possible footprints of singula-rities of the Navier–Stokes equation.
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E. -W. Saw, D. Kuzzay, D. Faranda, A. Guittonneau, F. Daviaud, et al.. Experimental characterization of extreme events of inertial dissipation in a turbulent swirling flow. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2016, 7, pp.12466. ⟨10.1038/ncomms12466⟩. ⟨cea-01490836⟩

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