Chaos, Symmetry, and Self-Similarity: Exploiting Order and Disorder in Mixing Processes

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Science  07 Aug 1992:
Vol. 257, Issue 5071, pp. 754-760
DOI: 10.1126/science.257.5071.754


Fluid mixing is a successful application of chaos. Theory anticipates the coexistence of order and disorder—symmetry and chaos—as well as self-similarity and multifractality arising from repeated stretching and folding. Experiments and computations, in turn, provide a point of confluence and a visual analog for chaotic behavior, multiplicative processes, and scaling behavior. All these concepts have conceptual engineering counterparts: examples arise in the context of flow classification, design of mixing devices, enhancement of transport processes, and controlled structure formation in two-phase systems.