Nonlinear Dynamics and Turbulence

Vladimir Kolmogorov

Björn Hof and his research group investigate how complex chaotic dynamics develop in nonlinear systems. Fluid turbulence is probably the most common and at the same time most relevant example of spatio-temporal disorder in nature. Despite its ubiquity, insights into this phenomenon are very limited. While the majority of turbulence research is concerned with statistical properties at very high velocities, our approach is to investigate turbulence when it first arises from laminar motion. We combine detailed laboratory experiments with highly resolved computer simulations and apply methods from nonlinear dynamics and statistical physics. Doing so enables us to decipher key aspects of the transition scenario and identify universal features shared with out of equilibrium systems in many other areas of physics. In some cases the new insights obtained can be directly applied to control turbulent flows and we actively develop such methods. Overall we hope that our approach will eventually lead to a more fundamental understanding of the nature of turbulence, going beyond a purely statistical view.

Further projects currently investigated in our group are concerned with complex fluids such as polymer solutions, surfactants and bacterial suspensions. While at low concentrations the dynamics are similar to those of ordinary fluids, after a certain threshold the dynamics often change abruptly giving rise to unexpected phenomena.

Björn Hof
Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria)
Am Campus 1
A – 3400 Klosterneuburg

Phone: +43 (0)2243 9000 5801


Publication List

ERC Starting/Consolidator Grant website

Sandra Widdmann
Phone: +43 (0)2243 9000-1178


  • Nischal Agrawal, Phd Student
  • Burak Budanur, Postdoc
  • George Choueiri, Postdoc
  • Mike Hennessey-Wesen, PhD Student
  • Lukasz Klotz, Postdoc
  • Jose Lopez Alonso, Postdoc
  • Chaitanja Paranjape, PhD Student
  • Michael Riedl, Scientific Intern
  • Davide Scarselli, PhD Student
  • Balachandra Suri, Postdoc
  • Atul Varshney, Postdoc
  • Mukund Vasudevan, Postdoc
  • Yi Zhuang, Postdoc

      Selected Publications

      • Avila K, Moxey D, de Lozar A, Avila M, Barkley D, Hof B. 2011. The onset of turbulence in pipe flow. Science 333, 192-196.
      • Hof B , de Lozar A., Avila M, Tu X, Schneider TM. 2010. Eliminating turbulence in spatially intermittent flows. Science 327, 1491-1494.
      • Hof B , Westerweel J, Schneider TM, Eckhardt B. 2006. Finite lifetime of turbulence in pipe flow. Nature 443, 05089, 59-62.


      Since 2013 Professor, IST Austria
      2007-2013 Research group leader, MPI for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Göttingen, Germany
      2005-2007 Lecturer, University of Manchester, UK
      2003-2005 Research Associate, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
      2001 PhD, University of Manchester, UK

      Selected Distinctions

      2016 ERC Proof of Concept Grant
      2012 ERC Consolidator Grant
      2011 Dr. Meyer Struckmann Science Price
      2005 RCUK Fellowship

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