Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:


Thick puddle made thin

For turbulent flows, the energy transfer between large and small whirls depends on the dimension of the fluid. Imposing large-scale shear on a three-dimensional system can unexpectedly induce two-dimensional behaviour.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Downscale and upscale energy transfers.
Figure 2



  1. Richardson, L. F. Proc. R. Soc. A 110, 709–725 (1926).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  2. Pope, S. B. Turbulent flows (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2000).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  3. Frish, U. Turbulence: The legacy of A. N. Kolmogorov (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1995).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  4. Kolmogorov, A. N. Dokl. Akad. Nauk 30, 301–305 (1941).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  5. Kellay, H. & Goldburg, W. I. Rep. Progr. Phys. 5, 845–893 (2002).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  6. Tabeling, P. Phys. Rep. 362, 1–62 (2002).

    Article  ADS  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  7. Kraichnan, R. Phys. Fluids 10, 1417–1423 (1967).

    Article  ADS  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  8. Batchelor, G. K. Phys. Fluids 2 (suppl), 233–240 (1969).

    Google Scholar 

  9. Markus, P. S. Nature 428, 828–831 (2004).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  10. Xia, H., Byrne, D., Falkovich, G. & Shats M. Nature Phys. 7, 321–324 (2011).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hamid Kellay.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Kellay, H. Thick puddle made thin. Nature Phys 7, 279–280 (2011).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing