Formula could lead to better tools to predict weather, pollution and water movement
To most people, turbulence is the jolt felt by jet passengers moving through a rough pocket of air. But to scientists, turbulence is the chaotic flow of a gas or liquid, in which parts of the current curl into irregular, ever smaller, tight eddies. Its a very common phenomenon that can affect weather conditions, greatly alter the movement of pollutants, dampen a vehicles speed, or play a role in the way chemicals mix and combustion engines perform. Yet the phenomenon is difficult to understand, and scientists cannot easily predict how a turbulent flow will behave.
While working on this problem, researchers at The Johns Hopkins University have discovered a new mathematical formula that could lead to more precise computer models describing turbulent flow. Charles Meneveau, a professor of mechanical engineering, and Yi Li, a doctoral student in the department, unveiled the formula, called the "advected delta-vee equation," in a paper published in the Oct. 14 issue of the journal Physical Review Letters.
Phil Sneiderman | EurekAlert!
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