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Boundary-layer turbulence in experiments on quasi-Keplerian flows

  • Jose M. Lopez (a1) (a2) (a3) and Marc Avila (a1) (a4)

Abstract

Most flows in nature and engineering are turbulent because of their large velocities and spatial scales. Laboratory experiments on rotating quasi-Keplerian flows, for which the angular velocity decreases radially but the angular momentum increases, are however laminar at Reynolds numbers exceeding one million. This is in apparent contradiction to direct numerical simulations showing that in these experiments turbulence transition is triggered by the axial boundaries. We here show numerically that as the Reynolds number increases, turbulence becomes progressively confined to the boundary layers and the flow in the bulk fully relaminarizes. Our findings support that turbulence is unlikely to occur in isothermal constant-density quasi-Keplerian flows.

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Corresponding author

Email address for correspondence: jlopez@ist.ac.at

References

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Boundary-layer turbulence in experiments on quasi-Keplerian flows

  • Jose M. Lopez (a1) (a2) (a3) and Marc Avila (a1) (a4)

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