Turbulence Simulation Laboratory

University of Massachusetts Amherst
Director - Steve de Bruyn Kops

Turbulence is nature's spoon.  Without the mixing it provides, we could get no fresh air to breath and just about everything in the modern world would overheat or freeze. Yet hydrodynamic drag is the curse of turbulence, not to mention violent weather.  Huge computers are increasingly the workhorses for understanding and predicting turbulence.  Here at UMass we run some of the largest simulations in the world to understand some of the most basic features of turbulence.

Publications

Frontier Project - Multiscale Interactions in Stratified Turbulence

Stratified Turbulence

Mixing and Reacting Flows

Renewable Energy
Sir Horace Lamb
I am an old man now, and when I die and go to Heaven there are two matters on which I hope for enlightenment. One is quantum electrodynamics and the other is the turbulent motion of fluids. And about the former I am rather more optimistic.


Peter Bradshaw
Those who knew the British applied mathematician Keith Stewartson (1925-1983) will recall that his strongest term of scientific condemnation was "unrigorous".  I'm sure he regarded the whole phenomenon of turbulence as being unrigorous and probably invented by the Devil on the seventh day of Creation (when the Good Lord wasn't looking); I am inclined to agree.

Richard Feynman
Turbulence is the most important unsolved problem of classical physics.

Clay Mathematics Institute Millennium Problems
Waves follow our boat as we meander across the lake, and turbulent air currents follow our flight in a modern jet. Mathematicians and physicists believe that an explanation for and the prediction of both the breeze and the turbulence can be found through an understanding of solutions to the Navier-Stokes equations. Although these equations were written down in the 19th Century, our understanding of them remains minimal. The challenge is to make substantial progress toward a mathematical theory which will unlock the secrets hidden in the Navier-Stokes equations.