Multifractality and scale-free network topology in a noise-perturbed laminar jet

Yu Guan (Corresponding Author), Yuanhang Zhu, Zhijian Yang, Bo Yin, Vikrant Gupta, Larry K.B. Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


We present experimental evidence of multifractality and scale-free network topology in a noise-perturbed laminar jet operated in a globally stable regime, prior to the critical point of a supercritical Hopf bifurcation and prior to the saddle-node point of a subcritical Hopf bifurcation. For both types of bifurcation, we find that (i) the degree of multifractality peaks at intermediate noise intensities, (ii) the conditions for peak multifractality produce a complex network whose node degree distribution obeys an inverse power-law scaling with an exponent of < γ, indicating scale-free topology and (iii) the Hurst exponent and the global clustering coefficient can serve as early warning indicators of global instability under specific operating and forcing conditions. By characterising the noise-induced dynamics of a canonical shear flow, we demonstrate that the multifractal and scale-free network dynamics commonly observed in turbulent flows can also be observed in laminar flows under certain stochastic forcing conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA6
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2023


  • instability
  • jets
  • nonlinear dynamical systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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