What is the difference between laminar and turbulent flow?

Asked by: Lisa


Laminar and Turbulent Flow - cigarette smokeLaminar Flow: the flow of a fluid when each particle of the fluid follows a smooth path, paths which never interfere with one another. One result of laminar flow is that the velocity of the fluid is constant at any point in the fluid.

Turbulent Flow: irregular flow that is characterized by tiny whirlpool regions. The velocity of this fluid is definitely not constant at every point. :)

Typical examples of both Laminar and Turbulent flows can be observed in the cigarette smoke (see image).

Answered by: Philip Johnson, Physics Undergrad, Memorial University, NF, Canada