Validity of Taylor's dissipation-viscosity independence postulate in variable-viscosity turbulent fluid mixtures. Academic Article uri icon


  • G. I. Taylor's postulate [Proc. R. Soc. A 151, 421 (1935)] that dissipation is independent of viscosity at high Reynolds numbers is the foundation of many single-fluid turbulence theories and closure models. The validity of this key postulate in an important class of flows, turbulent mixtures, is not yet clearly established. We devise a simple numerical experiment of decaying turbulence in a mixture of two fluids of vastly different viscosities to examine dissipation scaling. Initially, the two fluids are segregated, and dissipation is directly proportional to viscosity. As turbulence evolves and fluids mix, the velocity gradients rapidly adapt to the viscosity field, and within one-half eddy turnover time, dissipation-viscosity independence is established. Viscosity-weighted velocity-gradient skewness is shown to be constant, leading to the validity of Taylor's postulate in turbulent mixtures.

published proceedings

  • Phys Rev Lett

author list (cited authors)

  • Lee, K., Girimaji, S. S., & Kerimo, J.

citation count

  • 16

complete list of authors

  • Lee, Kurnchul||Girimaji, Sharath S||Kerimo, Johannes

publication date

  • August 2008