Inverse kinetic theory approach to turbulence theory

M. Tessarotto, M. Ellero, P. Nicolini

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


A fundamental aspect of turbulence theory is related to the identification of realizable phase-space statistical descriptions able to reproduce in some suitable sense the stochastic fluid equations of a turbulent fluid. In particular, a major open issue is whether a purely Markovian statistical description of hydrodynamic turbulence actually can be achieved. Based on the formulation of a deterministic inverse kinetic theory (IKT) for the 3D incompressible Navier-Stokes equations, here we claim that such a Markovian statistical description actually exists. The approach, which involves the introduction of the local velocity probability density for the fluid (local pdf) - rather than the velocity-difference pdf adopted in customary approaches to homogeneous turbulence - relies exclusively on first principles. These include - in particular - the exact validity of the stochastic Navier-Stokes equations, the principle of entropy maximization and a constant H-theorem for the Shannon statistical entropy. As a result, the new approach affords an exact equivalence between Lagrangian and Eulerian formulations which permit local pdf's which are generally non-Maxwellian (i.e., non-Gaussian). The theory developed is quite general and applies in principle even to turbulence regimes which are non-stationary and non-uniform in a statistical sense.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-235
Number of pages6
JournalAIP Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2009
Event26th International Symposium on Rarefied Gas Dynamics, RGD26 - Kyoto, Japan
Duration: Jul 20 2008Jul 25 2008


  • Kinetic theory
  • Navier-stokes equations
  • Turbulence theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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