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Reynolds number dependence of energy spectra in the overlap region of isotropic turbulence. (English) Zbl 0981.76036
Summary: A near-asymptotics analysis of the turbulence energy spectrum is presented that accounts for the effects of finite Reynolds number recently reported by L. Mydlarski and Z. Warhaft [J. Fluid Mech. 320, 331-368 (1996)]. From dimensional and physical considerations (following Kolmogorov and von Kármán), proper scalings are defined for both low and high wavenumbers, but with functions describing the entire range of the spectrum. The scaling for low wavenumbers uses the kinetic energy and the integral scale, \(L\), based on the integral of the correlation function. The fact that the two scaled profiles describe the entire spectrum for finite values of Reynolds number, but reduce to different profiles in the limit, is used to determine their functional forms in the “overlap” region that both retain in the limit. The spectra in the overlap follow a power law, \(E(k)= Ck^{-5/3+ \mu}\), where \(\mu\) and \(C\) are Reynolds number dependent. In the limit of infinite Reynolds number, \(\mu\to 0\) and \(C\to\) constant, so the Kolmogorov/Obukhov theory is recovered in the limit. Explicit expressions for \(\mu\) and other parameters are obtained, and these are compared to the Mydlarski and Warhaft data. To get a better estimate of the exponent from the experimental data, existing models for low and high wavenumbers are modified to account for the Reynolds number dependence. They are then used to build a spectral model covering all the range of wavenumbers at every Reynolds number. Experimental data from grid-generated turbulence are examined and found to be in good agreement with the theory and the model. Finally, from the theory and data, we obtain an explicit form for the Reynolds number dependence of \(\varphi= \varepsilon L/u^3\).

76F05 Isotropic turbulence; homogeneous turbulence
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