Exact invariant solution reveals the origin of self-organized oblique turbulent-laminar stripes

Wall-bounded shear flows transitioning to turbulence may self-organize into alternating turbulent and laminar regions forming a stripe pattern with non-trivial oblique orientation. Different experiments and flow simulations identify oblique stripe patterns as the preferred solution of the well-known Navier-Stokes equations, but the origin of stripes and their oblique orientation remains unexplained. In concluding his lectures, Feynman highlights the unexplained stripe pattern hidden in the solution space of the Navier-Stokes equations as an example demonstrating the need for improved theoretical tools to analyze the fluid flow equations. Here we exploit dynamical systems methods and demonstrate the existence of an exact equilibrium solution of the fully nonlinear 3D Navier-Stokes equations that resembles oblique stripe patterns in plane Couette flow. The stripe equilibrium emerges from the well-studied Nagata equilibrium and exists only for a limited range of pattern angles. This suggests a mechanism selecting the non-trivial oblique orientation angle of turbulent-laminar stripes.


Published in:
Nature Communications, 10, 2277
Year:
May 23 2019
ISSN:
2041-1723
Keywords:
Laboratories:




 Record created 2019-06-18, last modified 2019-09-17

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