Perspective: The Experimentalist and the Problem of Turbulence in the Age of Supercomputers

[+] Author and Article Information
Morteza Gharib

Center for Quantitative Visualization, Graduate Aeronautical Laboratories, Pasadena, CA 91125

J. Fluids Eng 118(2), 233-242 (Jun 01, 1996) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2817368 History: Received September 12, 1995; Revised February 16, 1996; Online December 04, 2007


Due to the rising capabilities of computational fluid mechanics (CFD), the role of the experimentalist in solving the problem of turbulence has come under serious question. However, after much initial excitement by the prospect of CFD, the basic understanding of non-linear fluid phenomena such as turbulence still remains a grand challenge and will remain so into the unforeseeable future. It appears that in order to accelerate the development of a comprehensive and practical understanding and modeling of turbulence, it is required that a constructive synergism between experiments and simulations be created. Moreover, the digital revolution has helped experimental fluid mechanics to acquire new capabilities in the whole-field flow mapping technique which enables it to efficiently interface with CFD. This new horizon is promising in its capabilities to guide, validate and actively interact in conducting reliable simulations of turbulent flows.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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