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The Center for the Study of Complex Systems pres.

Complex Systems & Soft Matter Group Seminar | The life and death of turbulence

Nigel Goldenfeld, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne

Swanlund Professor of Physics Nigel Goldenfeld Swanlund Professor of Physics Nigel Goldenfeld
Swanlund Professor of Physics Nigel Goldenfeld
A special seminar co-hosted by the Center for the Study of Complex Systems and the Soft Matter Group - Chemical Engineering to be held at the North Campus Research Center

ABSTRACT:
Turbulence is the last great unsolved problem of classical physics. But there is no consensus on what it would mean to actually solve this problem. In this colloquium, I propose that turbulence is most fruitfully regarded as a problem in non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, and will show that this perspective explains turbulent drag behavior measured over 80 years, and makes predictions that have been experimentally tested in 2D turbulent soap films. I will also explain how this perspective is useful in understanding the laminar-turbulence transition, establishing it as a non-equilibrium phase transition whose critical behavior has been predicted and tested experimentally. This work connects transitional turbulence with statistical mechanics and renormalization group theory, high energy hadron scattering, the statistics of extreme events, and even population biology.

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To get to the research auditorium, enter via Building 18 Visitors entrance, show ID, up stairs to the right (the big granite egg)
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