Transition in the boundary layer on a flat plate is examined from the point of view of intermittent production of turbulent spots. On the hypothesis of localized laminar breakdown, for which there is some expermental evidence, Emmons’ probability calculations can be extended to explain the observed statistical similarity of transition regions. Application of these ideas allows detailed calculations of the boundary layer parameters including mean velocity profiles and skin friction during transition. The mean velocity profiles belong to a universal one-parameter family with the intermittency factor as the parameter. From an examination of experimental data the probable existence of a relation between the transition Reynolds number and the rate of production of the turbulent spots is deduced. A simple new technique for the measurement of the intermittency factor by a Pitot tube is reported.
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