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  Observation of the sling effect

Bewley, G. P., Saw, E.-W., & Bodenschatz, E. (2013). Observation of the sling effect. New Journal of Physics, 15, 083051-1-083051-12. doi:10.1088/1367-2630/15/8/083051.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-0FB1-6 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-0FB2-4
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Bewley, Gregory Paul1, Author              
Saw, Ewe-Wei1, Author              
Bodenschatz, Eberhard1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Laboratory for Fluid Dynamics, Pattern Formation and Biocomplexity, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society, ou_2063287              

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 Abstract: When cloud particles are small enough, they move with the turbulent air in the cloud. On the other hand, as particles become larger their inertia affects their motions, and they move differently than the air. These inertial dynamics impact cloud evolution and ultimately climate prediction, since clouds govern the Earth's energy balances. However, we lack a simple description of the dynamics. Falkovich et al describe theoretically a new dynamical mechanism called the 'sling effect' by which extreme events in the turbulent air cause idealized inertial cloud particles to break free from the airflow (Falkovich et al 2002 Nature 419 151). The sling effect thereafter causes particle trajectories to cross each other within isolated pockets in the flow, which increases the chance of collisions that forms larger particles. We combined experimental techniques that allow for precise control of a turbulent flow with three-dimensional tracking of multiple particles at unprecedented resolution. In this way, we could observe both the sling effect and crossing trajectories between real particles. We isolated the inertial sling dynamics from those caused by turbulent advection by conditionally averaging the data. We found the dynamics to be universal in terms of a local Stokes number that quantifies the local particle velocity gradients. We measured the probability density of this quantity, which shows that sharp gradients became more frequent as the global Stokes number increased. We observed that sharp compressive gradients in the airflow initiated the sling effect, and that thereafter gradients in the particle flow ran away and steepened in a way that produced singularities in the flow in finite time. During this process both the fluid motions and gravity became unimportant. The results underpin a framework for describing a crucial aspect of inertial particle dynamics and predicting collisions between particles.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2013-08-27
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: eDoc: 691315
DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/15/8/083051
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Title: New Journal of Physics
  Alternative Title : NJP
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 15 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 083051-1 - 083051-12 Identifier: -