Transition to turbulence in pipes and straight channels is one of the last outstanding problems in classical physics. When fluid's velocity exceeds some critical value, the flow abruptly becomes very irregular. For a long time it was believed that this irregularity was completely random and structureless, thus escaping any attempts of theoretical understanding.
Recently, however, it was discovered that at least close to the transition the turbulent dynamics are governed by a relatively small number of very regular spatial patterns (coherent structures). This discovery completely alters our understanding of the transition and explains/predicts new exciting features of turbulent flows .
The "dynamical systems" picture of turbulence is very new and relatively little is understood of the actual mechanism of the transition. You will use low-dimensional models designed to reproduce the main features of the transition to turbulence to study properties of the turbulent phase space, sudden relaminarisation and the phenomenon of drag reduction observed when small amounts of long flexible polymers are added to the flow. The project will be a combination of computational and analytical techniques with an initial emphasis on the former.
 How does flow in a pipe become turbulent? B. Eckhardt and T. M. Schneider, European Physical Journal B 64, 457 (2008).
- Dr Alexander Morozov (School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
The project supervisor welcomes informal enquiries about this project.
Find out more about this research area
The links below summarise our research in the area(s) relevant to this project:
- Find out more about Computational Materials Physics.
- Find out more about Statistical Physics and Complexity.
- Find out more about the Institute for Condensed Matter and Complex Systems.
- Find out how to apply for our PhD degrees.
- Find out about fees and funding and studentship opportunities.
- View and complete the application form (on the main University website).
- Find out how to contact us for more information.
More PhD projects
- Browse other Computational Materials Physics projects.
- Browse other Statistical Physics and Complexity projects.
- Browse other Institute for Condensed Matter and Complex Systems projects.
- Browse all PhD research opportunities in the School of Physics & Astronomy.
- Browse PhD research opportunities elsewhere in the University of Edinburgh.