Swirling flow patterns in a computer simulation of turbulence
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of G. Brethouwer (Royal Inst. Tech., Sweden)
Turbulence: All Mixed Up
If you've ever ridden in an airplane, you might have some idea
what turbulence is. When an airplane flies through a turbulent
place in the atmosphere it will bounce around a bit as the wind
outside blows the plane in different directions.
Nothing to worry about - turbulence is natural and it happens all
over the universe, from river
rapids to ocean
waves to Jovian planets
to stars to
nebulae! You can
even see turbulence when you pour milk into a cup of hot tea.
Turbulence is just a fluid
moving around crazily so it's all mixed up. It's difficult to predict what a
turbulent flow is going to do because of something called the
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