Science in Context 31 (3):381-404 (2018)

ArgumentDuring the interwar period research on turbulence met with interest from different areas: in aeronautical engineering turbulence became a subject of experimental study in wind tunnels; in naval architecture and hydraulic engineering turbulence research was on the agenda because of its role for skin friction; applied mathematicians and theoretical physicists struggled with the problem to determine the onset of turbulence from the fundamental hydrodynamic equations; experimental physicists developed techniques to measure the velocity fluctuations of turbulent flows. In this paper I describe the rise of turbulence in the 1920s and 1930s as a research field under the label of applied mechanics. Although the focus is on Germany, the international development of this research field is illuminated by the role which Ludwig Prandtl played as its acknowledged “chief”. I argue that the multifaceted character of this research field calls for an epistemology and historiography which intrinsically takes the interaction of science and engineering into account.
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DOI 10.1017/s026988971800025x
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References found in this work BETA

Turbulenz – ein problemhistorischer Abriss.Michael Eckert - 2008 - NTM Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Wissenschaften, Technik und Medizin 16 (1):39-71.

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Pipe Flow: A Gateway to Turbulence.Michael Eckert - 2020 - Archive for History of Exact Sciences 75 (3):249-282.

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