Turbulence: When is the Reynolds number high enough?
Smits, Alexander J. Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.
Hultmark, Marcus Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.
- Boundary layers
- Reynolds number
- Scaling problem
- High-Reynolds-number turbulence
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The Reynolds number is the primary scaling parameter for turbulent flows. For the flow over large vehicles or through large pipelines, the working Reynolds number can be very high, of the order of 106 to 108 or higher. Experiments and simulations of turbulent flow, however, are often limited to Reynolds numbers of the order of 103 to 105. It has become evident that turbulence continues to evolve with the Reynolds number, so that low-Reynolds-number data are not a reliable guide to the behavior of high-Reynolds-number flows. The question then becomes, when is the Reynolds number high enough to reveal the asymptotic state of turbulence, if there is one?
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