Electromagnetic Tiles May Cut Turbulence

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Science  19 May 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5469, pp. 1151-1152
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5469.1151a

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When a fluid streams over a fast-moving surface, turbulent eddies form that drag against the surface. By some estimates, a general method of reducing turbulent drag by 10% could save billions of dollars and eliminate tons of burnt-fuel pollutants. Now on page 1230 of this issue, researchers propose a novel approach that harnesses electromagnetic fields to nip the eddies in the bud. In computer simulations of turbulent ocean-water flows, their method cuts the drag force by almost 30%.