Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 13:15 EDT
Visualized Turbulence Image 2
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Visualized Turbulence (Image 2)

July 2, 2010
Visualized Turbulence (Image 2) The distribution of vorticity in developing Mach 1 turbulence, as computed with the PPM gas dynamics code on the TeraGrid cluster at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) in 2003 using a computational grid of over 8 billion cells. This series of images shows the vorticity as it evolves through the transition of fully developed turbulence. The vorticity, which measures the amount of shear in the flow, highlights thin surface-like regions in the flow across which the flow speed changes very rapidly. Later in the development of the turbulence, these sheets of vorticity roll up to form a large number of vortex tubes or filaments, which, especially given the high flow speeds here, are somewhat akin to tornadoes. The strongest vorticity is shown as white, changing to yellow then red and finally blue as the intensity decreases. Understanding the phenomenon of fluid turbulence is important in astrophysics as well as in many areas of science and engineering, from meteorology to aerodynamics and even combustion in engines. The very large computation involved in creating this image was carried out on a National Science Foundation (NSF) computing system at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. The development of the parallel simulation code as well as the visualization techniques was supported by NSF PACI and NSF CISE Research Resources grants (CNS 04-21423 and CNS 02-24424). (Date of Image: Computations done in the fall of 2003; image created in the fall 2004) [See related image Here.]