Geometry of state space in plane Couette flow
A large conceptual gap separates the theory of low-dimensional chaotic dynamics from the infinite-dimensional nonlinear dynamics of turbulence. Recent advances in experimental imaging, computational methods, and dynamical systems theory suggest a way to bridge this gap in our understanding of turbulence. Recent discoveries show that recurrent coherent structures observed in wall-bounded shear flows (such as pipes and plane Couette flow) result from close passes to weakly unstable invariant solutions of the Navier-Stokes equations. These 3D, fully nonlinear solutions (equilibria, traveling waves, and periodic orbits) structure the state space of turbulent flows and provide a skeleton for analyzing their dynamics. We calculate a hierarchy of invariant solutions for plane Couette, a canonical wall-bounded shear flow. These solutions reveal organization in the flow's turbulent dynamics and can be used to predict directly from the fundamental equations physical quantities such as bulk flow rate and mean wall drag. All results and the code that generates them are disseminated through through our group's open-source CFD software and solution database Channelflow.org and the collaborative e-book ChaosBook.org.
KeywordsPeriodic Orbit Coherent Structure Proper Orthogonal Decomposition Unstable Manifold Invariant Solution
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