Caustics and intermittency in turbulent suspensions of heavy particles

J. Bec, L. Biferale, M. Cencini, A.S. Lanotte, F. Toschi

Research output: Book/ReportReportAcademic


The statistics of velocity differences between very heavy inertial particles suspended in an incompressible turbulent flow is found to be extremely intermittent. When particles are separated by distances within the viscous subrange, the competition between quiet regular regions and multivalued caustics leads to a quasi bi-fractal behavior of the particle velocity structure functions, with high-order moments bringing the statistical signature of caustics. Contrastingly, for particles separated by inertial-range distances, the velocity-difference statistics is characterized in terms of a local Hölder exponent, which is a function of the scale-dependent particle Stokes number only. Results are supported by high-resolution direct numerical simulations. It is argued that these findings might have implications in the early stage of rain droplets formation in warm clouds.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Publication series [physics.flu-dyn]


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