Having solved a central mystery about the “twirliness” of tornadoes and other types of vortices, William Irvine has set his sights on turbulence, the white whale of classical physics.
From my article in Quanta Magazine, posted September 3, 2020
It’s time to feed the blob. Seething and voracious, it absorbs eight dinner-plate-size helpings every few seconds.
Irvine tightly controls the loops that are the blob’s building blocks and studies the resulting confined turbulence up close and at length. The blob could yield insights into turbulence that physicists have been chasing for two centuries — in a quest that led Richard Feynman to call turbulence the most important unsolved problem in classical physics….Read more