A dynamical system description of the transition process in shear flows with no linear instability starts with knowledge of exact coherent solutions, among them traveling waves (TWs) and relative periodic orbits (RPOs). We describe a numerical method to find such solutions in pipe flow and apply it in the vicinity of a Hopf bifurcation from a TW which looks to be especially relevant for transition. The dominant structural feature of the RPO solution is the presence of weakly modulated streaks. This RPO, like the TW from which it bifurcates, sits on the laminar-turbulent boundary separating initial conditions which lead to turbulence from those which immediately relaminarize.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics