In this short review I argue that the progress in our understanding the mechanism of turbulent drag reduction is conditioned by obtaining experimental data on dynamics and statistics of polymer stretching and elastic stresses in inertial turbulence at high Reynolds numbers that is a technically challenging task. The suggested way out of the currently unresolved technical problem is to collect the same data in elastic turbulence, which is a smooth random flow similar to that found in inertial turbulence below the dissipation scale. Since the polymer stretching and elastic stresses in inertial turbulence are influenced only by small scales, it is appropriate to use information on the polymer stretching and elastic stresses obtained in elastic turbulence. The experimental data on the statistics of the polymer stretching, the coil-stretch transition, and elastic stresses together with spatial distribution and values of the rms of the velocity gradients were collected in elastic turbulence for the last several years. This information serves a basis for a new hypothesis of turbulent drag reduction. To cite this article: V. Steinberg, C. R. Physique 10 (2009). © 2009 Académie des sciences.
Steinberg, V. (2009, November). Elastic stresses in random flow of a dilute polymer solution and the turbulent drag reduction problem. Comptes Rendus Physique. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crhy.2009.10.015