Experimental investigation of the refined similarity hypothesis EuHIT Funded Project


Eberhard Bodenschatz
MPIDS, Goettingen, Germany
James Dawson
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
Anna Knutsen
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway
John M Lawson
Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organisation, Goettingen, Germany


Research Infrastructure
Max Planck High-Turbulence Facility, Germany
Facilities used
von Karman Flow Apparatus (GTF3)
Project leader
Nicholas A Worth
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway


The majority of natural and practical fluid flows are turbulent, and contain a wide range of length and time scales, ranging from large, slow motions to very small, fast fluctuations. One of the most enduring statistical models for turbulent flows proposed originally by Kolmogorov in 1941 and later refined in 1962, hypothesised that the smallest of these fluctuations may be universal for any flow, and consequently the velocity field statistics may only depend on a handful of local flow properties. Given the importance of these scales in controlling the nature and characteristics of a large range of flows, and the benefit in terms of both an improved understanding of the physics and the potential improvement of practical numerical models, many studies have sought to investigate and prove Kolmogorov’s hypotheses. Until recently such tests were only possible experimentally by invoking a number of simplifying assumptions and surrogates, however recent advances in experimental methods have made it possible to examine this theory directly. Therefore, the present proposal aims to make a novel series of experimental measurements which will allow direct experimental assessment of Kolmogorov’s refined similarity hypothesis.