Rectification of chaotic fluid motion in two-dimensional turbulence

N. Francois, H. Xia, H. Punzmann, M. Shats

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    Turbulence is a mechanism leading to energy dissipation, however it also accumulates energy by spreading it over a range of scales. This valuable energy reservoir is known as the inertial interval. The broader this interval is, the more energy is stored and an interesting question is whether it is possible to efficiently use this energy. Recent advances in the understanding of turbulence rely on the trajectory-based or Lagrangian description of the flow. Here we show how to extract energy from the inertial interval of two-dimensional turbulence by taking advantage of its fine Lagrangian structure. A floating object in wave-driven turbulence can exploit the fluid erratic motion to fuel either directional propulsion or rotation. The shape of the object controls its ability to become a vehicle or a rotor that can tap the energy of correlated bundles of fluid trajectories. These findings offer methods of creating self-propelled devices or turbines utilizing the energy of turbulence.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number124602
    JournalPhysical Review Fluids
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


    Dive into the research topics of 'Rectification of chaotic fluid motion in two-dimensional turbulence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this