: the quality or state of being turbulent: as
a : great commotion or agitation <emotional turbulence>
b : irregular atmospheric motion especially when characterized by up-and-down currents
c : departure in a fluid from a smooth flow
Examples of TURBULENCE
- The plane hit quite a bit of turbulence during our flight.
- A period of turbulence preceded the riots.
First Known Use of TURBULENCE
turbulence noun (Concise Encyclopedia)
In fluid mechanics, a flow condition (see turbulent flow) in which local speed and pressure change unpredictably as an average flow is maintained. Common examples are wind and water swirling around obstructions, or fast flow (Reynolds number greater than 2,100) of any sort. Eddies, vortices, and a reduction in drag are characteristics of turbulence. Lowered drag enables golf balls to travel farther than they would do otherwise, and the dimpled surface of golf balls is meant to encourage turbulence in the boundary layer. If swimsuits with rough surfaces help swimmers to move faster, as has been claimed, the same explanation may apply.
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