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Abstract

Leaves falling in air and bubbles rising in water provide daily examples of nonstraight paths associated with the buoyancy-driven motion of a body in a fluid. Such paths are relevant to a large variety of applicative fields such as mechanical engineering, aerodynamics, meteorology, and the biomechanics of plants and insect flight. Although the problem has attracted attention for ages, it is only recently that the tremendous progress in the development of experimental and computational techniques and the emergence of new theoretical concepts have led to a better understanding of the underlying physical mechanisms. This review attempts to bring together the main recent experimental, computational, and theoretical advances obtained on this fascinating subject. To this end it describes the first steps of the transition in the wake of a fixed body and its connection with the onset and development of the path instability of moving bodies. Then it analyzes the kinematics and dynamics of various types of bodies along typical nonstraight paths and how the corresponding information can be used to build low-dimensional predictive models.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-fluid-120710-101250
2012-01-21
2024-04-22
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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