Articles | Volume 22, issue 6
Research article
22 Mar 2022
Research article |  | 22 Mar 2022

Intricate relations among particle collision, relative motion and clustering in turbulent clouds: computational observation and theory

Ewe-Wei Saw and Xiaohui Meng

Related subject area

Subject: Clouds and Precipitation | Research Activity: Atmospheric Modelling | Altitude Range: Troposphere | Science Focus: Physics (physical properties and processes)
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Cited articles

Balkovsky, E., Falkovich, G., and Fouxon, A.: Intermittent Distribution of Inertial Particles in Turbulent Flows, Phys. Rev. Lett., 86, 2790, 2001. a
Bec, J., Biferale, L., Cencini, M., Lanotte, A., Musacchio, S., and Toschi, F.: Heavy Particle Concentration in Turbulence at Dissipative and Inertial Scales, Phys. Rev. Lett., 98, 084502, 2007. a, b
Bec, J., Ray, S. S., Saw, E. W., and Homann, H.: Abrupt growth of large aggregates by correlated coalescences in turbulent flow, Phys. Rev. E, 93, 031102, 2016. a
Bragg, A. D., Hammond, A. L., Dhariwal, R., and Meng, H.: Hydrodynamic interactions and extreme particle clustering in turbulence, J. Fluid Mech., 933, A31,, 2022. a
Chun, J., Koch, D. L., Rani, S. L., Ahluwalia, A., and Collins, L. R.: Clustering of aerosol particles in isotropic turbulence, J. Fluid Mech., 536, 219–251, 2005. a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x
Short summary
Collision–coagulation of small droplets in turbulent clouds leads to the production of rain. Turbulence causes droplet clustering and higher relative droplet velocities, and these should enhance the collision–coagulation rate. We find, surprisingly, that collision–coagulation starkly diminishes clustering and strongly alters relative velocities. We provide a theory that explains this result. Our results call for a new perspective on how we understand particle/droplet collision in clouds.
Final-revised paper