Particle image velocimetry (PIV) has evolved to be the dominant method for velocimetry in experimental fluid mechanics and has contributed especially to the study of flows in complex geometries and turbulent flows, providing resolution and detail that can compete with numerical methods, such as direct numerical simulation (DNS). DNS requires simulation of the entire flow domain or otherwise uses (unrealistic) periodic boundary conditions, however, PIV can be applied specifically by selecting a measurement volume that includes only the most relevant part in a turbulent flow. PIV complements the accurate statistics of turbulent flows provided by single-point probes, such as Hot-Wire Anemometry (HWA) and Laser Doppler Velocimetry (LDV), by providing detailed instantaneous structures present in turbulence flows. HWA has a superb signal-to-noise ratio, which makes it ideally suited to study low-intensity turbulent flows and their spectra, whereas LDV is well suited to high-intensity fluctuations with respect to the mean and accurate measurements of long-time average, single-point statistics. But neither provides the spatial derivatives, flow visualization, and capability for the spatial correlation offered by PIV. Advances in Optics, Cameras and Laser performance together with available well integrated commercial PIV systems have established PIV as the preferred technique for many flow measurement tasks. Applications range in size from a field-of-view of less than 1 mm in micro channels or blood vessels (μPIV) to meter scales even observing natural phenomena like river flows, ocean currents or cloud dynamics. Most experiments are conducted in the lab under controlled conditions with a field-of-view between 5 and 50 cm. Typically, small seeding particles are added to the fluid observing particle motion around objects, for example, in water channels, towing tanks, wind tunnels, inside pumps, turbine machinery, flames and other combustion environments, to name just a few of the many different application fields. About 70% of all PIV systems are used as a tool for fundamental and applied research at universities and research institutions, and 30% by industry, mainly by large energy, automotive, aerospace, chemical and medical companies with dedicated research departments.
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