The Rise of Statistical Theories of Turbulence

  • Michael EckertEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in History of Science and Technology book series (BRIEFSHIST)


In the mid-1930s the turbulence problem became the subject of a statistical theory developed by Geoffrey Ingram Taylor. It was to a large extent motivated by the concern about wind tunnel turbulence. From an experimental perspective the breakthrough came with the hot-wire technique that enabled precise measurements of grid-turbulence in wind tunnels. Theodore von Kármán and Leslie Howarth extended Taylor’s theory. In 1938, statistical theories of turbulence took centre-stage at a symposium on turbulence as part of the Fifth International Congress for Applied Mechanics. Apart from the mainstream statistical theories, Johannes Martinus Burgers developed simplified mathematical models in an attempt to capture the principal features of turbulence—with an alternative view on statistical theories.

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ForschungsinstitutDeutsches MuseumMunichGermany

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