Potentially Singular Solutions of the 3D Incompressible Euler Equations

Potentially Singular Solutions of the 3D Incompressible Euler Equations

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Gou Luo , Caltech
Fine Hall 322

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. This work attempts 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. With a maximum effective resolution of over $(3 \times 10^{12})^{2}$ near the point of the singularity, we are able to advance the solution up to $\tau_{2} = 0.003505$ and predict a singularity time of $t_{s} \approx 0.0035056$, while achieving a \emph{pointwise} relative error of $O(10^{-4})$ in the vorticity vector $\omega$ and observing a $(3 \times 10^{8})$-fold increase in the maximum vorticity $|\omega|_{\infty}$. The numerical data is 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 careful local analysis also suggests that the blowing-up solution develops a self-similar structure near the point of the singularity, as the singularity time is approached. This is joint work with Tom Hou.