/terr"byeuh leuhns/, n.
1. the quality or state of being turbulent; violent disorder or commotion.
2. Hydraulics. the haphazard secondary motion caused by eddies within a moving fluid.
3. Meteorol. irregular motion of the atmosphere, as that indicated by gusts and lulls in the wind.
Also, turbulency.
[1590-1600; < LL turbulentia. See TURBULENT, -ENCE]

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In fluid mechanics, a flow condition (see turbulent flow) in which local speed and pressure change unpredictably as an average flow is maintained.

Common examples are wind and water swirling around obstructions, or fast flow (Reynolds number greater than 2,100) of any sort. Eddies, vortices, and a reduction in drag are characteristics of turbulence. Lowered drag enables golf balls to travel farther than they would do otherwise, and the dimpled surface of golf balls is meant to encourage turbulence in the boundary layer. If swimsuits with rough surfaces help swimmers to move faster, as has been claimed, the same explanation may apply.

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Universalium. 2010.

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