Wake development behind circular cylinders at Reynolds numbers from 40 to 10,000 was investigated in a low-speed wind tunnel. Standard hot-wire techniques were used to study the velocity fluctuations. The Reynolds number range of periodic vortex shedding is divided into two distinct subranges. At R = 40 to 150, called the stable range, regular vortex sheets are formed and no turbulent motion is developed. The range R = 150 to 300 is a transition range to a regime called the irregular range, in which turbulent velocity fluctuations accompany the peiodic formation of vortices. The turbulence is initiated by the laminar-turbulent transition in the free layers which spring from the separation points on the cylinder. This transition first occurs in the range R = 150 to 300. Spectrum and statistical measurment were made to study the velocity fluctuations. In the stable range the vortices decay by viscous diffusion. In the irregular range the diffusion is turbulent and the wake becomes fully turbulent in 40 to 50 diameters downstream. It was found that in the stable range the vortex sheet has a periodic spanwise structure. The dependence of shedding frequency on velocity was successfully used to measure flow velocity. Measurments in the wake of a ring showed that an annular vortex sheet is developed.
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