Coherent structures in localised and global pipe turbulence

Ashley P Willis, Richard R Kerswell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


The recent discovery of unstable traveling waves (TWs) in pipe flow has been hailed as a significant breakthrough with the hope that they populate the turbulent attractor. We confirm the existence of coherent states with internal fast and slow streaks commensurate in both structure and energy with known TWs using numerical simulations in a long pipe. These only occur, however, within less energetic regions of (localized) “puff” turbulence at low Reynolds numbers (Re=2000–2400), and not at all in (homogeneous) “slug” turbulence at Re=2800. This strongly suggests that all currently known TWs sit in an intermediate region of phase space between the laminar and turbulent states rather than being embedded within the turbulent attractor itself. New coherent fast streak states with strongly decelerated cores appear to populate the turbulent attractor instead.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124501
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2008


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