Recent remarkable progress in computing power and numerical analysis is enabling us to fill a gap in the dynamical systems approach to turbulence. A significant advance in this respect has been the numerical discovery of simple invariant sets, such as nonlinear equilibria and periodic solutions, in well-resolved Navier-Stokes flows. This review describes some fundamental and practical aspects of dynamical systems theory for the investigation of turbulence, focusing on recently found invariant solutions and their significance for the dynamical and statistical characterization of low-Reynolds-number turbulent flows. It is shown that the near-wall regeneration cycle of coherent structures can be reproduced by such solutions. The typical similarity laws of turbulence, i.e., the Prandtl wall law and the Kolmogorov law for the viscous range, as well as the pattern and intensity of turbulence-driven secondary flow in a square duct can also be represented by these simple invariant solutions.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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