Universal distribution of centers and saddles in two-dimensional turbulence

Michael Rivera, Xiao Lun Wu, Chuck Yeung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The statistical properties of the local topology of two-dimensional turbulence are investigated using an electromagnetically forced soap film. The local topology of the incompressible 2D flow is characterized by the Jacobian determinant Λ (x, y) = 1/4(ω2 − σ2), where ω(x, y) is the local vorticity and σ (x, y) is the local strain rate. For turbulent flows driven by different external force configurations, P (Λ) is found to be a universal function when rescaled using the turbulent intensity. A simple model that agrees with the measured functional form of P (Λ) is constructed using the assumption that the stream function, Ψ(x, y), is a Gaussian random field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44501-1-44501-4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 23 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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