Science Diliman, Vol 11, No 2 (1999)

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A Molecular Theory of the Onset of Turbulence

Amador Muriel, Sergei Novopashin, Jose Perico Esguerra, Edgardo Gutierrez


We review experimental data which shows the dependence of the critical Reynolds number on molecular composition. We then use the cell model of a gas to explain the onset of turbulence by the excitation of the internal degrees of freedom of molecules. Two sources of internal energy states are identified: quantum confinement for monoatomic molecules and rotational states of diatoms.

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