Das Max-Planck Institut für Selbstorganisation und Dynamik beschäftigt sich mit grundlegenden Fragestellungen aus den interdisziplinären Bereichen der Biologie, der Geophysik, der Medizin, der Neurowissenschaften, der Meteorologie und der Fluiddynamik. Ein wichtiges Projekt am Institut ist die Untersuchung turbulenter Strömungen und deren Auswirkung auf die Feinstruktur und Dynamik von Wolken.
As is well known, the dynamics are difficult to capture, because they occur on a wide range of scales, which is the nature of of high Reynolds number turbulence. At present, the full dynamics are impossible to capture in the laboratory or by direct numerical simulation. Yet it is also impossible to make field measurements with adequate resolution, or to control the conditions in a systematic way. For this reason, we complement our laboratory experimental expertise with the field experience and the numerical investigations, of our collaborators. We are developing techniques to obtain particle tracks in high Reynolds number turbulence. These new ultrafast particle tracking methods allow us to make accurate measurements of Lagrangian statistics, which are of great importance both to practical questions of turbulent transport and to fundamental questions about the existence of a universal description of turbulence.
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The importance of water vapor in Earth's atmosphere cannot be understated. It is an active green-house gas, important energy conveyer in the troposhere and a key element in many chemical reactions in the middle atmosphere. Yet, there are still many questions concerning the water vapor dynamics in the middle atmosphere.
The Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research developed a new, state-of-the art, microwave instrument in order to shed light on some of these issues. The high sensitivity and time-resolution enable us to resolve fast dynamical events which was not possible before.