Generalizing Point Vortices

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

2:30 pm - 3:45pm

107 Surge Building VT CAMPUS

Stefan Llewellyn Smith - Hassan Aref Memorial Lecture
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
University of California - San Diego


 Kirchhoff's equations of motion for point vortices are a paradigm of reduction of an infinite-dimensional dynamical system, namely the incompressible Euler equations, to a finite-dimensional system. Yet the original incompressible Euler equations neglect physical phenomena that may be important, for example compressibility, density differences and other wave fields such as those caused by background vorticity gradients. In addition, one can also examine other generalizations of the point vortex singularity, such as higher singularities or the effect of different desingularizations of the point vortex system. I review the history of point vortices and discuss a number of these extensions, in particular hollow vortices and Sadovskii vortices.


Stefan G. Llewellyn Smith received his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the University of Cambridge in 1996. He was a research fellow of Queens' College, Cambridge, from 1996 to 1999, working in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. He spent a year from 1996 to 1997 on a Lindemann Trust Fellowship at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla. He joined the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UCSD in 1999 as Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering. His research interests include fluid dynamics, especially its application to environmental and engineering problem, acoustics and asymptotic methods.