On variational features of vortex flows

Berdichevsky, V. L.
September 2008
Continuum Mechanics & Thermodynamics;Sep2008, Vol. 20 Issue 4, p219
Academic Journal
Ideal incompressible fluid is a Hamiltonian system which possesses an infinite number of integrals, the circulations of velocity over closed fluid contours. This allows one to split all the degrees of freedom into the driving ones and the �slave� ones, the latter to be determined by the integrals of motions. The �slave� degrees of freedom correspond to �potential part� of motion, which is driven by vorticity. Elimination of the �slave� degrees of freedom from equations of ideal incompressible fluid yields a closed system of equations for dynamics of vortex lines. This system is also Hamiltonian. The variational principle for this system was found recently (Berdichevsky in Thermodynamics of chaos and order, Addison-Wesly-Longman, Reading, 1997; Kuznetsov and Ruban in JETP Lett 67, 1076�1081, 1998). It looks striking, however. In particular, the fluid motion is set to be compressible, while in the least action principle of fluid mechanics the incompressibility of motion is a built-in property. This striking feature is explained in the paper, and a link between the variational principle of vortex line dynamics and the least action principle is established. Other points made in this paper are concerned with steady motions. Two new variational principles are proposed for steady vortex flows. Their relation to Arnold�s variational principle of steady vortex motion is discussed.


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