Path Lengths in Turbulence

  • Nicholas T. Ouellette
  • Eberhard Bodenschatz
  • Haitao XuEmail author


By tracking tracer particles at high speeds and for long times, we study the geometric statistics of Lagrangian trajectories in an intensely turbulent laboratory flow. In particular, we consider the distinction between the displacement of particles from their initial positions and the total distance they travel. The difference of these two quantities shows power-law scaling in the inertial range. By comparing them with simulations of a chaotic but non-turbulent flow and a Lagrangian Stochastic model, we suggest that our results are a signature of turbulence.


Turbulence Lagrangian statistics Single particle dispersion 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas T. Ouellette
    • 1
  • Eberhard Bodenschatz
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Haitao Xu
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials ScienceYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-OrganizationGöttingenGermany
  3. 3.Institute for Nonlinear DynamicsUniversity of GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  4. 4.Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics and Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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