Information and the study of turbulence and complex flow

Ronald J. Adrian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The growth of computer information capacity has profoundly changed the conduct of research in fluid mechanics. Properly executed, a direct numerical simulation can be a valid and rich source of 'data' for the study of certain aspects of turbulence. Multi-point experiments contain less information than direct numerical simulations, but they are 'real', and they are still far richer in information than classical single-point experiments. To make significant advances in understanding complex flows, especially turbulence, new practices must be used that exploit the richness of these databases. These include stricter adherence to the principal of using concepts rooted in theoretical formulations to define the quantities to be measured, quantitative concepts based on new methods of kinematic analysis for three-dimensional visualization, more extensive use of statistical analysis based on multi-point correlations and related methods, and tightly coupled combined experimental/computer simulation studies. Lastly, dissemination of the information requires new approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-8
Number of pages7
JournalJSME International Journal, Series B: Fluids and Thermal Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Coherent structures
  • Complex flow
  • Critical point analysis
  • Direct numerical simulation
  • Eddies
  • Experimental turbulence
  • Information
  • Kinematic analysis
  • Large eddy simulation
  • Moore's law
  • Particle image velocimetry
  • Super-computers
  • Swirling strength
  • Turbulence simulation
  • Vorticity
  • Web-based publication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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