Dynamics of energy condensation in two-dimensional turbulence

M. Chertkov, C. Connaughton, I. Kolokolov, V. Lebedev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


We report a numerical study, supplemented by phenomenological explanations, of "energy condensation" in forced 2D turbulence in a biperiodic box. Condensation is a finite size effect which occurs after the standard inverse cascade reaches the size of the system. It leads to the emergence of a coherent vortex dipole. We show that the time growth of the dipole is self-similar, and it contains most of the injected energy, thus resulting in an energy spectrum which is markedly steeper than the standard k-5/3 one. Once the coherent component is subtracted, however, the remaining fluctuations have a spectrum close to k-1. The fluctuations decay slowly as the coherent part grows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number084501
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 21 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Dynamics of energy condensation in two-dimensional turbulence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this