Is space time? A spatiotemporal theory of turbulence

Math Physics Seminar
Friday, March 2, 2018 - 15:00
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 202
School of Physics, Georgia Tech
Recent advances in fluid dynamics reveal that the recurrent flows observed in moderate Reynolds number turbulence result from close passes to unstable invariant solutions of Navier-Stokes equations. By now hundreds of such solutions been computed for a variety of flow geometries, but always confined to small computational domains (minimal cells).Pipe, channel and plane flows, however, are flows on infinite spatial domains. We propose to recast the Navier-Stokes equations as a space-time theory, with the unstable invariant solutions now being the space-time tori (and not the 1-dimensional periodic orbits of the classical periodic orbit theory). The symbolic dynamics is likewise higher-dimensional (rather than a single temporal string of symbols). In this theory there is no time, there is only a repertoire of admissible spatiotemporal patterns.We illustrate the strategy by solving a very simple classical field theory on a lattice modelling many-particle quantum chaos, adiscretized screened Poisson equation, or the ``spatiotemporal cat.'' No actual cats, graduate or undergraduate, have showninterest in, or were harmed during this research.