Large-Scale Coherent Vortex Formation in Two-Dimensional Turbulence
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The evolution of a vortex flow excited by an electromagnetic technique in a thin layer of a conducting liquid was studied experimentally. Small-scale vortices, excited at the pumping scale, merge with time due to the nonlinear interaction and produce large-scale structures—the inverse energy cascade is formed. The dependence of the energy spectrum in the developed inverse cascade is well described by the Kraichnan law k–5/3. At large scales, the inverse cascade is limited by cell sizes, and a large-scale coherent vortex flow is formed, which occupies almost the entire area of the experimental cell. The radial profile of the azimuthal velocity of the coherent vortex immediately after the pumping was switched off has been established for the first time. Inside the vortex core, the azimuthal velocity grows linearly along a radius and reaches a constant value outside the core, which agrees well with the theoretical prediction.
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