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Colloquium - Boffetta

Conformal Invariance in Two-dimensional Turbulence
University of Torino and Los Alamos National Laboratory

This talk is devoted to recent findings in the statistics of two-dimensional turbulence. After a brief review of the classical phenomenology, on the basis of high resolution numerical simulations, I show that some features of two-dimensional turbulence display conformal invariance. In particular, the statistics of vorticity clusters in the inverse cascade is equivalent to that of critical percolation, one of the simplest universality classes of critical phenomena. Vorticity isolines are therefore fractal lines described by Stochastic Loewner Equation curves SLE6. This result is generalized to a class of 2D turbulent systems, including Surface Quasi-Geostrophic turbulence (which corresponds to SLE4) and Charney-Hasegawa-Mima turbulence. The picture emerging from these results is that conformal invariance may be expected for inverse cascades in two-dimensions therefore opening new perspectives in our understanding of 2D turbulent flows.

This talk is sponsored by the National Center for Atmospheric Research Geophysical Turbulence Program (GTP) and will be held in the Foothills Lab 2 Room 1022.

Department of Computer Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
May 5, 2012 (14:13)