Physics of turbulent flows

Lecturer(s): Christophe BAILLY, Christophe BOGEY
Course ⋅ 16 hPW ⋅ 8 hStudy ⋅ 4 h


Physics of turbulent flows - The course covers various aspects of the physics of turbulent flows, with the aim to illustrate some recent results in a practical ways from experimental and numerical studies. The main objectives are the mastering of basic concepts (turbulence production, turbulence boundary layer, local equilibrium, role of vorticity, Kolmogorov's theory), the development of skill in turbulence modelling and in the analysis of results, and to provide also a comprehensive view of experimental and numerical approaches.


Turbulence, Reynolds number, turbulent boundary layer, Kolmogorov's theory, vorticity dynamics, turbulence closure models


Main chapters of this course - Physics of turbulent flows - are

  • Introduction to turbulent flows
  • Statistical description
  • Wall-bounded turbulent flows (- Anatomy of a turbulence model)
  • Dynamics of vorticity
  • Homogeneous and isotropic turbulence, Kolmogorov's theory
  • Numerical simulation (DNS, LES, RANS) and experimental techniques (HWA, LDA, PIV)

Exercises are regularly proposed (two homework assignments freely chosen in a list, involving signal processing or the development of simple models using Matlab among other thinks), two lab work (TP) are also proposed (numerical simulation of channel flow and hot wire anemometer measurements in a turbulent round jet) as well as a final small class (BE).

Learning Outcomes

  • Be able to describe and model classical turbulent flows (boundary layer, jets, wakes, homogeneous and isotropic turbulence)
  • Be able to tackle the classical literature on turbulence


Final mark = 50% Knowledge + 50% Know-how

Knowledge = 80% homework assignements + 20% lab work Know-how = 40% homework assignements + 60% lab work

For students involved in a MSc, there is an additional final exam (closed book and open notes), the final mark for the MSc is calculated by 50% final exam + 30% homework assignements + 20% lab work