Uncovering the Lagrangian skeleton of turbulence

  • Mathur M
  • Haller G
  • Peacock T
 et al. 
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Abstract

We present a technique that uncovers the Lagrangian building blocks of turbulence, and apply this technique to a quasi-two-dimensional turbulent flow experiment. Our analysis identifies an intricate network of attracting and repelling material lines. This chaotic tangle, the Lagrangian skeleton of turbulence, shows a level of complexity found previously only in theoretical and numerical examples of strange attractors. We quantify the strength (hyperbolicity) of each material line in the skeleton and demonstrate dramatically different mixing properties in different parts of the tangle.

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Authors

  • Manikandan Mathur

  • George Haller

  • Thomas Peacock

  • Jori E. Ruppert-Felsot

  • Harry L. Swinney

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