In the last few decades a series of experiments have revealed that turbulence is a cooperative and critical phenomenon showing a continuous phase change with the critical Reynolds number at its onset. However, the applications of phase transition models, such as the Mean Field Theory (MFT), the Heisenberg model, the XY model, etc. to turbulence, have not been realized so far. Now, in this article, a successful analogy to magnetism is reported, and it is shown that a Mean Field Theory of Turbulence (MFTT) can be built that reveals new results. In analogy to compressibility in fluids and susceptibility in magnetic materials, the vorticibility
(the authors of this article propose this new name in analogy to response functions, derived and given names in other fields)
of a turbulent flowing fluid is revealed, which is identical to the relative turbulence intensity. By analogy to magnetism, in a natural manner, the Curie Law of Turbulence
was discovered. It is clear that the MFTT is a theory describing equilibrium flow systems, whereas for a long time it is known that turbulence is a highly non-equilibrium phenomenon. Nonetheless, as a starting point for the development of thermodynamic models of turbulence, the presented MFTT is very useful to gain physical insight, just as Kraichnan’s turbulent energy spectra of 2-D and 3-D turbulence are, which were developed with equilibrium Boltzmann-Gibbs thermodynamics and only recently have been generalized and adapted to non-equilibrium and intermittent turbulent flow fields.
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