### Abstract

This article introduces and reviews recent work using a simple optimization technique for analysing the nonlinear stability of a state in a dynamical system. The technique can be used to identify the most efficient way to disturb a system such that it transits from one stable state to another. The key idea is introduced within the framework of a finite-dimensional set of ordinary differential equations (ODEs) and then illustrated for a very simple system of two ODEs which possesses bistability. Then the transition to turbulence problem in fluid mechanics is used to show how the technique can be formulated for a spatially-extended system described by a set of partial differential equations (the well-known Navier-Stokes equations). Within that context, the optimization technique bridges the gap between (linear) optimal perturbation theory and the (nonlinear) dynamical systems approach to fluid flows. The fact that the technique has now been recently shown to work in this very high dimensional setting augurs well for its utility in other physical systems

Original language | English |
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Article number | 085901 |

Journal | Reports on Progress in Physics |

Volume | 77 |

Issue number | 8 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - 5 Aug 2014 |

### Bibliographical note

This paper is not yet available on the repository### Keywords

- fluid mechanics
- nonlinear
- turbulence

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Kerswell, R. R., Pringle, C. C. T., & Willis, A. P. (2014). An optimization approach for analysing nonlinear stability with transition to turbulence in fluids as an exemplar.

*Reports on Progress in Physics*,*77*(8), [085901]. https://doi.org/10.1088/0034-4885/77/8/085901