Potentially singular solutions of the 3D axisymmetric Euler equations

Thomas Hou
California Institute of Technology
Applied and Computational Mathematics

Whether the 3D incompressible Euler equations can develop a singularity in finite time from smooth initial data is one of the most challenging problems in mathematical fluid dynamics. Together with Dr. Guo Luo, we attempt to provide an affirmative answer to this long-standing open question from a numerical point of view, by presenting a class of potentially singular solutions to the Euler equations computed in axisymmetric geometries. The solutions satisfy a periodic boundary condition along the axial direction and no-flow boundary condition on the solid wall. The equations are discretized in space using a hybrid 6th-order Galerkin and 6th-order finite difference method, on specially designed adaptive (moving) meshes that are dynamically adjusted to the evolving solutions. The numerical data are checked against all major blowup/non-blowup criteria, including Beale-Kato-Majda, Constantin-Fefferman-Majda, and Deng-Hou-Yu, to confirm the validity of the singularity. A local analysis near the point of the singularity also suggests the existence of a self-similar blowup in the meridian plane. A 1D model is proposed to study the mechanism of the finite time singularity. Very recently we prove rigorously that the 1D model develops finite time singularity.

Presentation (PDF File)

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