Experiments show that the amplitude of turbulent pulsation in submerged jets rises with increasing distance from the nozzle, at first slowly and then, after a certain distance, rapidly. This dependence on distance from the nozzle closely resembles the dependence of an order parameter on temperature in the case of a second-order phase transition. Following an idea introduced by Landa and Zaikin in 1996, it is suggested that the onset of turbulence is a noise-induced phase transition similar to that in a pendulum with a randomly vibrated suspension axis. The Krylov-Bogolyubov asymptotic method is used to provide an approximate description of the transition. Results obtained in this way are shown to coincide closely with experimental data. Such an approach is appropriate because the convective character of the instability means that turbulence in nonclosed flows cannot be a self-oscillatory process, as is often assumed. Rather, it must originate in the external random disturbances that are always present in real flows.
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