Subcritical transition to turbulence: What we can learn from the physics of glasses


Olivier Dauchot and Eric Bertin


In this note, we discuss possible analogies between the subcritical transition to turbulence in shear flows and the glass transition in supercooled liquids. We briefly review recent experimental and numerical results, as well as theoretical proposals, and compare the difficulties arising in assessing the divergence of the turbulence lifetime in subcritical shear flow with that encountered for the relaxation time in the study of the glass transition. In order to go beyond the purely methodological similarities, we further elaborate on this analogy and propose a simple model for the transition to turbulence, inspired by the random energy model (a standard model for the glass transition), with the aim to possibly foster yet-unexplored directions of research in subcritical shear flows.

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Quote this paper as :

 title={Subcritical transition to turbulence: What we can learn from the physics of glasses},
 author={Dauchot, O. and Bertin, E.},
 journal={Physical Review E},


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