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Monday, December 10, 2012
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)


Linking Structure to Dynamics in Weak Turbulence

Nicholas Ouellette
Yale University

Despite an enormous range of applications and centuries of scientific study, understanding and predicting the flow of fluids remains a tremendous challenge, particularly when the flow is chaotic or turbulent. Turbulent flows tend to be characterized by violent fluctuations, broad ranges of strongly coupled degrees of freedom, and significant variability in space and time. But despite all this complexity, turbulent is not random. Rather, it tends to self-organize into striking patterns and features. Some of these "coherent structures," such as strong vortices, are readily apparent; others are more subtle. But how much can we learn or predict about the flow from studying coherent structures? To begin to answer this question, I will discuss the results of experiments that suggest deep links between suitably defined flow structures (that is, localized, spatiotemporally coherent regions) and dynamics (that is, the flow of energy in the system).