Visualization of Three-Dimensional Chaos

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Science  31 Jul 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5377, pp. 683-686
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5377.683

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Most chaotic mixing experiments have been restricted to two-dimensional, time-periodic flows, and this has shaped advances in theory as well. A prototypical, bounded, three-dimensional flow with a moderate Reynolds number is presented; this system lends itself to detailed experimental observation and allows for high-precision computational inspection. The flow structure, captured by means of cuts with a laser sheet (experimental Poincaré section), was visualized with the use of continuously injected fluorescent dye streams and revealed detailed chaotic structures with high-period islands.

  • * Permanent address: Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology–Bombay, Powai, Bombay 400076, India.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: ottino{at}

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