40-something mom, wife, and mechanical engineer.
Like many extroverts, I’m not shy talking about myself. I enjoy reading other personal blogs so figured why not start my own? The first iteration of TurbulentFlow started up sometime in mid-2006. The original platform (Drupal) was more technical than I wanted to bother with. Combined with an excess of personal details (common blogging mistake) I deleted the original site and started fresh. I’m sure the original TurbulentFlow posts are floating around somewhere in the internet ether. I wish them well.
Why Turbulent Flow?
Euler watches the news. Lagrange reads blogs.
Fluid mechanics tells us that in a given flow situation there are two different points of view in analyzing the system. A eulerian method of description looks at the field of flow. Lagrangian method follows an individual particle moving through the flow. The two different descriptions can be contrasted in the analysis of traffic flow along a freeway. A certain length of freeway may be selected for study and called the field of flow. From the eulerian viewpoint, as time passes, a constantly changing series of various cars will enter and leave the field. The lagrangian chooses to identify a specific car within the field and follows its path as it moves through the flow.
The 401 highway is the busiest in North America. Starting in the crook of the great lakes, cars driving out of the motor city cross over the 49th parallel and flow onto the 820km of concrete that reaches like an outstretched arm toward Montréal. The elbow bends to trap Toronto between it and Lake Ontario defining the outer edge of the largest Canadian city.
Each day vehicles flow along the asphalt arteries that branch into collector roads, streets and driveways reaching and carrying millions of people to their destinations. Like in oceanographic measurements, where flow meters drift along with the prevailing currents, let’s stop for a moment and drop a lagrangian probe…
At 7:30am most weekday mornings you’ll find a black Matrix winding its way through the streets of Toronto, turning up onto the 427 and flowing onto the 401 like a good little commuter speck. The direction taken from there depends on the appointments I have lined up that day and could even take me to the airport where I hop on a plane and fly away. One morning, however, the car was parked quietly in the driveway while I lay on the couch trying to fight off some vague illness that has invaded me like a bacterial fog. I spent most of the Thanksgiving long weekend commuting not much further than from the living room to bedroom feeling like crap, and my reward was the creation of this blog.