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Conformal invariance in two-dimensional turbulence

Abstract : Simplicity of fundamental physical laws manifests itself in fundamental symmetries. While systems with an infinity of strongly interacting degrees of freedom (in particle physics and critical phenomena) are hard to describe, they often demonstrate symmetries, in particular scale invariance. In two dimensions (2d) locality often promotes scale invariance to a wider class of conformal transformations which allow for nonuniform re-scaling. Conformal invariance allows a thorough classification of universality classes of critical phenomena in 2d. Is there conformal invariance in 2d turbulence, a paradigmatic example of strongly-interacting non-equilibrium system? Here, using numerical experiment, we show that some features of 2d inverse turbulent cascade display conformal invariance. We observe that the statistics of vorticity clusters is remarkably close to that of critical percolation, one of the simplest universality classes of critical phenomena. These results represent a new step in the unification of 2d physics within the framework of conformal symmetry.
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Contributor : Denis Bernard <>
Submitted on : Saturday, May 31, 2008 - 12:04:41 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, December 22, 2020 - 2:42:09 PM

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Denis Bernard, G. Boffetta, A. Celani, G. Falkovich. Conformal invariance in two-dimensional turbulence. Nature Physics, Nature Publishing Group, 2006, 2, pp.124-128. ⟨10.1038/nphys217⟩. ⟨hal-00283891⟩



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