One of the most challenging problems in fluid dynamics is understanding the properties of turbulent flows. The advent of large supercomputers permits the investigation of turbulence with great accuracy in two dimensions, but full three-dimensional problems are physically more complex and their study is currently limited to the case of simple flows. It is shown that the availability of a continuous time-dependent representation of the dynamics of fluid flows can quickly lead to more complete understanding of the many concurrent physical mechanisms ruling turbulence. Some significant examples show how an analog videotape, obtained from direct computer simulations of fluid flows, suggests physical results that can later be obtained through a mathematical analysis of the numerical simulations.
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