AskDefine | Define intermittency

Dictionary Definition

intermittency n : the quality of being intermittent; subject to interruption or periodic stopping [syn: intermittence]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. the state of being intermittent; periodicity

Extensive Definition

In dynamical systems, intermittency is the alternation of phases of apparently periodic and chaotic dynamics.
Consider a dynamical system. Let x be the observed variable. If x plotted as a function of time exhibits segments of relative constant values (laminar phase) interspersed by erratic bursts, the system dynamics is intermittent.
In the apparently periodic phases the behaviour is not quite, but only nearly periodic. Thus, rather than a (truly periodic) series of values such as 2, 4, 2, 4, ... one might have something like 2.0001, 4.0003, 2.0002, 4.0001, 2.0003, 3.9999, 1.8715, 6.7486, ... where the first six values are apparently periodic but where the actually chaotic nature of the system becomes apparent after the value 3.9999 is reached.
Intermittency factor is the fraction of time that motion is turbulent, denoted \mu.

See also

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