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Publication# Self-similar invariant solution in the near-wall region of a turbulent boundary layer at asymptotically high Reynolds numbers

Abstract

At sufficiently high Reynolds numbers, shear-flow turbulence close to a wall acquires universal properties. When length and velocity are rescaled by appropriate characteristic scales of the turbulent flow and thereby measured in inner units, the statistical properties of the flow become independent of the Reynolds number. We demonstrate the existence of a wall-attached non-chaotic exact invariant solution of the fully nonlinear three-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations for a parallel boundary layer that captures the characteristic self-similar scaling of near-wall turbulent structures. The branch of travelling wave solutions can be followed up to . Combined theoretical and numerical evidence suggests that the solution is asymptotically self-similar and exactly scales in inner units for Reynolds numbers tending to infinity. Demonstrating the existence of invariant solutions that capture the self-similar scaling properties of turbulence in the near-wall region is a step towards extending the dynamical systems approach to turbulence from the transitional regime to fully developed boundary layers.

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Boundary layer

In physics and fluid mechanics, a boundary layer is the thin layer of fluid in the immediate vicinity of a bounding surface formed by the fluid flowing along the surface. The fluid's interaction with the wall induces a no-slip boundary condition (zero velocity at the wall). The flow velocity then monotonically increases above the surface until it returns to the bulk flow velocity. The thin layer consisting of fluid whose velocity has not yet returned to the bulk flow velocity is called the velocity boundary layer.

Reynolds number

In fluid mechanics, the Reynolds number (Re) is a dimensionless quantity that helps predict fluid flow patterns in different situations by measuring the ratio between inertial and viscous forces. At low Reynolds numbers, flows tend to be dominated by laminar (sheet-like) flow, while at high Reynolds numbers, flows tend to be turbulent. The turbulence results from differences in the fluid's speed and direction, which may sometimes intersect or even move counter to the overall direction of the flow (eddy currents).

Turbulence

In fluid dynamics, turbulence or turbulent flow is fluid motion characterized by chaotic changes in pressure and flow velocity. It is in contrast to a laminar flow, which occurs when a fluid flows in parallel layers, with no disruption between those layers. Turbulence is commonly observed in everyday phenomena such as surf, fast flowing rivers, billowing storm clouds, or smoke from a chimney, and most fluid flows occurring in nature or created in engineering applications are turbulent.

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