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
McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Physics. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
In my work it is tidal turbines that generate the discontinuity in the flow speed, leading to von Karman vortex streets in the wake downstream of the turbines.
As the artist Megan Griffiths and I discussed how to represent these flow patterns in an art piece, we realised that we were both inspired by the von Karman vortex streets in the turbine wakes, as well as by the potential for tidal power to generate renewable power.
Dramatic examples of the Karman vortex street can be seen in rivers downstream of the cylindrical columns supporting bridges.
My overwhelming first thought was to try and produce a work with movement to mimic the von Karman vortex street. That said, how to end up with such a work seemed like a huge if not impossible task.
Trying to map a von Karman vortex street. Photograph: Megan Griffiths.