We demonstrate an unexpected connection between isotropic turbulence and wall-bounded shear flows. We perform direct numerical simulations of isotropic turbulence forced at large scales at moderate Reynolds numbers and observe sudden transitions from chaotic dynamics to a spatially simple flow, analogous to the laminar state in wall bounded shear flows. We find that the survival probabilities of turbulence are exponential and the typical lifetimes increase super-exponentially with the Reynolds number. Our results suggest that both isotropic turbulence and wall-bounded shear flows qualitatively share the same phase-space dynamics.
Linkmann, Moritz; Morozov, Alexander. (2015). Sudden relaminarisation and lifetimes in forced isotropic turbulence, [dataset]. University of Edinburgh, School of Physics and Astronomy. http://dx.doi.org/10.7488/ds/295.