Turbulence is known to almost anyone (at least to those how have been on an airplane) and and in the same time the scholars dealing with turbulence admit in any opportunity they have, that they have no knowledge about it (this is of course simplified). I do not know if there is any other scientific topic, which shows such extremes. Maybe I am just blended bmy my own studies and do not see what else is out there in the world?

While reading the only turbulence related blog I know, Alex’s blog, I stumbled (I use this word quite often lately, is there any other word I could use?) over Prandtl‘s quote regarding how hopelessly complicated turbulence is (reminds me on Horace Lamb‘s introductory sentence to turbulence, see here). That reminded me immediately on many other quotes from scientists, whose names we know like our owns, so I decided to post them from time to time. And to be a German (wannabe or not) has at least in this matter a very big advantage, namely one has access to the original (a translation is always also an interpretation, regardless how good the translation might be) ideas of so many great fluid dynamicist. For those of you who understand German here is a archive of original letters from and to Arnold Sommerfeld (I like especially his book Mechanics of deformable bodies within his Lectures on theoretical physics, where he presents the “newest” findings of his graduate students Werner Heisenberg – see also the correspondence between Sommerfeld and other fluid dynamicists, e.g. Prandtl, concerning Heisenberg in the above linked archive -. But also how he explains topics in fluid dynamics is quite amusing, e.g. that people and subsonic flows behave opposed, i.e. while people decelerate in a contraction, subsonic flows tend to accelerate. Mmh, now it is not as funny as it was when I read it the first time, but still there are passages that are amusing, believe me. It is worth reading.)

A list of letters concerning: hydrodynamics and turbulence.

There are also videos covering various aspects of fluid dynamics out in the Internet, few were already listed here.


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February 2007
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