What is it about?
Turbulent flows, like the swirling patterns seen when milk is poured into coffee, can exhibit complicated behavior. Surprisingly, seemingly delicate flow patterns can be found surviving in these chaotic environments. In our research, we examined turbulence in simulated models of plasmas at the edge of fusion reactors and found unexpectedly strong and robust vortex structures. Using tools from dynamical systems and chaos theory, we showed how these robustness of these vortices connect to the mathematical characteristics of the flow.
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Why is it important?
A major challenge in describing turbulence is the problem of intermittency, referring to the tendency for turbulent behavior to concentrate into sporadic structures or events. The presence of ordered flow structures thwarts attempts to describe turbulence through a single homogeneous, universal theory. Our research demonstrates how tools from other branches of mathematics can be used to understand the physics of turbulence and provide clarity to the study of these chaotic flows.
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This page is a summary of: Nearly integrable flows and chaotic tangles in the Dimits shift regime of plasma edge turbulence, Physics of Plasmas, September 2023, American Institute of Physics,
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