turbulent flow


Definition of turbulent flow

: a fluid flow in which the velocity at a given point varies erratically in magnitude and direction — compare laminar flow

Examples of turbulent flow in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For one last reason to consider turbulence an unsolved problem, turbulent flows exhibit a wide range of interesting behavior in time and space. Lee Phillips, Ars Technica, "Turbulence, the oldest unsolved problem in physics," 10 Oct. 2018 Researchers want to understand exactly how a smooth flow breaks down into a turbulent flow and to model the future shape of a fluid once turbulence has taken over. Quanta Magazine, "What Makes the Hardest Equations in Physics So Difficult?," 16 Jan. 2018 But in a turbulent flow, that energy can get concentrated. Quanta Magazine, "What Makes the Hardest Equations in Physics So Difficult?," 16 Jan. 2018 Only a few exact solutions of the Navier-Stokes equations are known; these describe simple, laminar flows (and certainly not turbulent flows of any kind). Lee Phillips, Ars Technica, "Turbulence, the oldest unsolved problem in physics," 10 Oct. 2018 There's laminar flow, the consistent airflow across the surface that leaves a smooth wake, and turbulent flow, which leaves a rough, disturbed wake. Eric Tegler, Popular Mechanics, "How Boeing Used Airplane Aerodynamics To Build a Better Golf Club," 14 Jan. 2016 Every device that requests electricity from the grid sticks its little cup into that same turbulent flow, with all its little spikes and surges. David Roberts, Vox, "This technology could fundamentally change our relationship to electricity," 5 June 2018 Therefore, turbulent flow around these structures may replicate flow across buildings during a high wind event, like a hurricane. OrlandoSentinel.com, "University of Florida has world-class weather lab," 30 May 2018 The resulting turbulent flow smooths out the damper’s action. K.c. Colwell, Car and Driver, "Prime Cuts: We Cut Open a Multimatic Spool-Valve Damper to Reveal Its Secrets," 3 Nov. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'turbulent flow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of turbulent flow

1895, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of turbulent flow was in 1895

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Cite this Entry

“Turbulent flow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/turbulent%20flow. Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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