A thermodynamic study of the two-dimensional pressure-driven channel flow

E. Weinan, Jianchun Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The instability of the two-dimensional Poiseuille flow in a long channel and the subsequent transition is studied using a thermodynamic approach. The idea is to view the transition process as an initial value problem with the initial condition being Poiseuille flow plus noise, which is considered as our ensemble. Using the mean energy of the velocity fluctuation and the skin friction coefficient as the macrostate variable, we analyze the transition process triggered by the initial noises with different amplitudes. A first order transition is observed at the critical Reynolds number Re ∼ 5772 in the limit of zero noise. An action function, which relates the mean energy with the noise amplitude, is defined and computed. The action function depends only on the Reynolds number, and represents the cost for the noise to trigger a transition from the laminar flow. The correlation function of the spatial structure is analyzed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4349-4366
Number of pages18
JournalDiscrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems- Series A
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analysis
  • Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Action
  • Phase transition
  • Poiseuille flow
  • Statistical mechanics
  • Subcritical transition


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