The flow in the noise-producing region of a circular jet is found to be dominated by a group of large eddies, containing nearly a quarter of the turbulent shear stress in the quasi-plane region of the shear layer: their contribution to the shear stress decreases as the effects of axisymmetry become noticeable at more than about two diameters downstream of the nozzle. These large eddies appear to be almost entirely responsible for the irrotational fluctuations near the nozzle, which, for this and other reasons, are larger relative to the reference dynamic pressure than in other shear flows. As a consequence of this, the convection velocity near the high- and low-velocity edges of the flow is biased towards the mean velocity in the high-intensity region. The dominance of the large eddies therefore explains the measurements of near-field pressure fluctuations by Franklin & Foxwell (1958), and of convection velocity by Davies, Barratt & Fisher (1963) and the present authors. The strength of these large eddies, compared with those in the boundary layer or wake, is remarkable.
The large eddies appear to be mixing-jets similar to those found by Grant (1958) in the wake, but with their projection in the (y, z)-plane inclined at about 45° to the y (radial) axis instead of lying along the y-axis as in the wake.
It is suggested that the augmentation of these large eddies by artificial means could be used to increase the mixing rate and permit the reduction of jet noise by means of acceptably short ejector shrouds.
The medium-scale motion is found to be far from isotropic in scales, although the two scales associated with a given vorticity component are more nearly equal. This phenomenon is also noticeable in the wake.
It is found that the departure from self-preservation, which starts when the shear layer thickness is no longer small compared with the nozzle radius, does not grossly affect the region of high turbulence intensity and maximum noise production until this region itself is no longer small compared with the radius. The maximum shear stress seven diameters downstream of the exit is still 70% of its value near the exit, and the non-dimensional mean velocity gradient is practically unchanged.