Kármán vortex street

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Kármán vortex street

A double row of line vortices in a fluid. Under certain conditions a Kármán vortex street is shed in the wake of bluff cylindrical bodies when the relative fluid velocity is perpendicular to the generators of the cylinder, as illustration. This periodic shedding of eddies occurs first from one side of the body and then from the other, an unusual phenomenon because the oncoming flow may be perfectly steady. Vortex streets can often be seen, for example, in rivers downstream of the columns supporting a bridge. They can be created by steady winds blowing past smokestacks, transmission lines, bridges, missiles about to be launched vertically, and pipelines aboveground in the desert. See Vortex

Kármán vortex streetenlarge picture
Kármán vortex street

Kármán vortex street

[′kär‚män ′vȯr‚teks ‚strēt]
(fluid mechanics)
A double row of line vortices in a fluid which, under certain conditions, is shed in the wake of cylindrical bodies when the relative fluid velocity is perpendicular to the axis of the cylinder.