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Demystifying statistical turbulence modelling for fluid dynamics

World Scientific


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Credit: World Scientific

There are several books in the extensive and varied literature on Turbulence that deal, in statistical terms and in the context of fluid dynamics, with the phenomenon itself, as well as its many manifestations.

However, World Scientific/Imperial College Press' latest book Statistical Turbulence Modelling for Fluid Dynamics -- Demystified: An Introductory Text for Graduate Engineering Students differs from others in its uncompromising focus on the physical interpretation of a broad range of mathematical models used to represent the time-averaged effects of turbulence in computational prediction schemes for fluid flow and related transport processes in engineering and the natural environment.

It deliberately underplays complex mathematical manipulations, and gives strong preference to accessible physical and phenomenological explanations. It aims to enable students of the subject to gain a 'feel' for the physical fabric represented by the models embedded in most of the software currently used for practical fluid-flow predictions; thus counter-acting the ill-informed black-box approach to turbulence modelling in practice.

Statistical Turbulence Modelling for Fluid Dynamics -- Demystified does so by taking readers through the physical arguments underpinning exact concepts, the rationale of approximations of processes that cannot be retained in their exact form, and essential calibration steps to which the resulting models are subjected by reference to theoretically established behaviour of, and experimental data for, key canonical flows.

The book is organised in 15 chapters. It starts with an introductory chapter on some basic properties and essential statistical concepts of turbulence, presented mostly in descriptive terms, and then continues with a discussion of alternative approaches to temporal-averaging of the exact flow-governing equations, an exposition of important fundamental interactions among stresses and strains, including a focus on processes specific to near-wall turbulence, and a description of how fluxes of scalar properties, such as heat and species concentration, are linked to the properties themselves as well as to the strain field.

These follow chapters on the eddy-viscosity concept and on the modelling of turbulence by way of a hierarchy of increasingly elaborate closure approximations; starting with formulations based on a single differential transport equation, and then progressing to models involving two transport equations for related scalar turbulence properties, and to a multi-equation (Reynolds-stress-transport) framework -- the last preceded by a chapter that discusses defects of simpler models and explains the rationale of devising more complex, physically more realistic formulations. Chapters on scalar and heat-flux modelling, and on simplified derivatives of multi-equation models close the book.


The Statistical Turbulence Modelling for Fluid Dynamics -- Demystified: An Introductory Text for Graduate Engineering Students retails at US$124 / £82 (hardcover) and US$58 / £38 (paperback) at leading bookstores. For further information regarding the book, please visit If you require a review copy, any additional information, or would like to interview the author(s), please contact Jason Lim at

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