Quantifying the tangling of trajectories using the topological entropy

Candelaresi, S.; Pontin, D. I.; Hornig, G.
September 2017
Chaos;2017, Vol. 27 Issue 9, p1
Academic Journal
We present a simple method to efficiently compute a lower limit of the topological entropy and its spatial distribution for two-dimensional mappings. These mappings could represent either two-dimensional time-periodic fluid flows or three-dimensional magnetic fields, which are periodic in one direction. This method is based on measuring the length of a material line in the flow. Depending on the nature of the flow, the fluid can be mixed very efficiently which causes the line to stretch. Here, we study a method that adaptively increases the resolution at locations along the line where folds lead to a high curvature. This reduces the computational cost greatly which allows us to study unprecedented parameter regimes. We demonstrate how this efficient implementation allows the computation of the variation of the finite-time topological entropy in the mapping. This measure quantifies spatial variations of the braiding efficiency, important in many practical applications.


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