Focus

Turbulence

Decades-old speculation that the transition to turbulence belongs to the directed percolation universality class is confirmed with theoretical, numerical and experimental evidence in our Focus on Turbulence.

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Editorial

Big whorls, little whorls p197

doi:10.1038/nphys3697

An excursion into ecology and two sets of experiments lay the foundation for our Focus on Turbulence.


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Commentary

The long and winding road pp198 – 199

Yves Pomeau

doi:10.1038/nphys3684

For a problem as complex as turbulence, combining universal concepts from statistical physics with ideas from fluid mechanics has proven indispensable. Three decades since this link was formed, it is still providing food for new thought.


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News & Views

Fluid dynamics: In pursuit of turbulence p204 – 205

Johannes Knebel, Markus F. Weber and Erwin Frey

doi:10.1038/nphys3646

In the transition from laminar to turbulent pipe flow, puffs of turbulence form, split and decay. The phenomenology and lifetime of these turbulent puffs exhibit population dynamics that also drive predator–prey ecosystems on the edge of extinction.


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Letters

Ecological collapse and the emergence of travelling waves at the onset of shear turbulence p245 – 248

Hong-Yan Shih, Tsung-Lin Hsieh & Nigel Goldenfeld

doi:10.1038/nphys3548

Simulated pipe flow is interpreted using an ecological model in which predatory zonal flow preys on turbulence, and laminar flows emulate nutrients — establishing a link between turbulence and the directed percolation universality class.

A universal transition to turbulence in channel flow turbulence p249 – 253

Masaki Sano & Keiichi Tamai

doi:10.1038/nphys3659

Experiments and simulations of the transition to turbulence in fluid flow through a quasi-2D channel reveal critical exponents consistent with directed percolation — long conjectured to be the universality class associated with the transition.

Directed percolation phase transition to sustained turbulence in Couette flow p254 – 258

Grégoire Lemoult, Liang Shi, Kerstin Avila, Shreyas V. Jalikop, Marc Avila & Björn Hof

doi:10.1038/nphys3675

Decades-old speculation that the transition to turbulence belongs to the directed percolation universality class is confirmed with experimental and numerical data for flow through a quasi-one-dimensional Couette geometry.


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