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Intermittency in the velocity distribution of heavy particles in turbulence

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 March 2010

J. BEC*
Affiliation:
Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, CNRS, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, Laboratoire Cassiopée, Bd. de l'Observatoire, 06300 Nice, France
L. BIFERALE
Affiliation:
Department of Physics and INFN, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Via della Ricerca Scientifica 1, 00133 Rome, Italy
M. CENCINI
Affiliation:
INFM-CNR, SMC Dept. of Physics, Università ‘La Sapienza’, P.zzle A. Moro 2, and ISC-CNR, Via dei Taurini 19, 00185 Roma, Italy
A. S. LANOTTE
Affiliation:
ISAC-CNR, Via Fosso del Cavaliere 100, 00133 Rome and INFN, Sez. Lecce, 73100 Lecce, Italy
F. TOSCHI
Affiliation:
Department of Physics and Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Eindhoven University of Technology, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands Istituto per le Applicazioni del Calcolo CNR, Viale del Policlinico 137, 00161 Roma, Italy
*Corresponding
Email address for correspondence: jeremie.bec@obs-nice.fr

Abstract

The statistics of velocity differences between pairs of heavy inertial point particles suspended in an incompressible turbulent flow is studied and found to be extremely intermittent. The problem is particularly relevant to the estimation of the efficiency of collisions among heavy particles in turbulence. We found that when particles are separated by distances within the dissipative subrange, the competition between regions with quiet regular velocity distributions and regions where very close particles have very different velocities (caustics) leads to a quasi bi-fractal behaviour of the particle velocity structure functions. Contrastingly, we show that for particles separated by inertial-range distances, the velocity-difference statistics can be characterized in terms of a local roughness exponent, which is a function of the scale-dependent particle Stokes number only. Results are obtained from high-resolution direct numerical simulations up to 20483 collocation points and with millions of particles for each Stokes number.

Type
Papers
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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