Turbulence in WW II
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Research on turbulence became part of secret war projects. The development of “laminar wings” with minimal skin friction involved investigations about the transition to turbulence in the boundary layer. Fully developed turbulence was investigated because of its impact on heat transfer and other practical applications. Nevertheless, progress was also achieved in more fundamental areas with little or no relation to wartime projects. In 1941 Kolmogorov published a theory which predicted for the statistics of the smallest scales of turbulence at very high Reynolds numbers a universal behaviour (K41-theory). Prandtl presented an energy equation for fully developed turbulence and arrived (in unpublished notes) at the same microscale of turbulence as Kolmogorov.