a1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA 01609, USA
Direct numerical simulations are rapidly becoming one of the most important techniques to examine the dynamics of multiphase flows. Lucci, Ferrante & Elghobashi (J. Fluid Mech., 2010, this issue, vol. 650, pp. 5–55) address several fundamental issues for spherical particles in isotropic turbulence. They show the importance of including the finite size of the particles and discuss how particles of a size comparable to the largest length scale at which viscosity substantially affects the turbulent eddies (i.e. the Taylor microscale) always increase the dissipation of turbulent kinetic energy.