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Flow separation at inlet causing transition and intermittency in circular pipe flow

Ogawa, Masuro*

Transition phenomena from laminar to turbulent flow are roughly classified into three categories. Circular pipe flow of the third category is linearly stable against any small disturbance, despite that flow actually transitions and transitional flow exhibits intermittency. These are among major challenges that are yet to be resolved in fluid dynamics. Thus, author proposes hypothesis as follows; "Flow in a circular pipe transitions from laminar flow because of vortices released from separation bubble forming in vicinity of inlet of pipe, and transitional flow becomes intermittent because vortex-shedding is intermittent." Present hypothesis can easily explain why linear stability theory has not been able to predict transition in circular pipe flow, why circular pipe flow actually transitions, why transitional flow actually exhibits intermittency even due to small disturbance, and why numerical analysis has not been able to predict intermittency of transitional flow in circular pipe.

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