Particles in turbulence are omnipresent. Dust in the atmosphere, sediment in marine environments or biological beings in a variety of turbulent flows are just some of the possible examples.
Models for the dynamics of particles in turbulence have been developed for limited cases of small inertia and spherical or symmetric shapes. In contrast, when particles have inertia and when they have non-spherical shapes, the theoretical modelling is still under active development. Turbulent flows, including the large-scale flows on Earth, have the peculiarity of being fully turbulent at the small scales with coherent self-organised flow pattern at large scales.
The study wants to add anisotropic chiral finite-size particles into a shear-driven flow. The project team is already studying these particles in homogeneous isotropic turbulence through novel HPC simulations. Those kinds of particles couple translational and rotational degrees of freedom and we want to analyze them in a three-dimensional turbulent Kolmogorov flow.
In this, inhomogeneity and anisotropy are not induced by physical boundaries but by the body force that generates the flow itself. This could lead to better insight into the mechanism that drives particles into large scale flow organization in geophysical systems such as plastic debris inside our oceans or pollution in Earth’s atmosphere.