Large nonspherical particles in turbulence
We study the fundamental physics of large (Taylor-scale) particles in turbulence. Outstanding questions include: how are particle kinematics (rotation and translation) dictated by their own inertia, fluid inertia, and the surrounding flow? where do large particles preferentially concentrate within the structures of turbulence? how is their settling velocity affected by turbulence? and how do they in turn affect the flow around them?
To answer these questions, we use experimental techniques like Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and refractive-index matching with hydrogel models. This gives us a simultaneous picture of the particles’ motion as well as the motion of the fluid around them.