Refined similarity hypotheses for passive scalars mixed by turbulence

G. Stolovitzky, P. Kailsnath, K. R. Sreenivasan

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39 Scopus citations


In analogy with Kolmogorov’s refined similarity hypotheses for the velocity field, two hypotheses are stated for passive scalar fields mixed by high-Reynolds-number turbulence. A ‘refined’ Yaglom equation is derived under the new assumption of local isotropy in pure ensembles, which is stronger than the usual assumption of local isotropy but weaker than the isotropy of the large scale. The new theoretical result is shown to be consistent with the hypotheses of refined similarity for passive scalars. These hypotheses are approximately verified by experimental data on temperature fluctuations obtained (in air) at moderate Reynolds numbers in the wake of a heated cylinder. The fact that the refined similarity hypotheses are stated for high Reynolds (and Peclet) numbers, but verified at moderate Reynolds (and Peclet) numbers suggests that these hypotheses are not sufficiently sensitive tests of universality. It is conjectured that possible departures from universality are hidden by the process of taking conditional expectations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-291
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Jul 1995
Externally publishedYes


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