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  1. Abstract

    We show that certain singular structures (Hölderian cusps and mild divergences) are transported by the flow of homeomorphisms generated by an Osgood velocity field. The structure of these singularities is related to the modulus of continuity of the velocity and the results are shown to be sharp in the sense that slightly more singular structures cannot generally be propagated. For the 2D Euler equation, we prove that certain singular structures are preserved by the motion, e.g. a system of$$\log \log _+(1/|x|)$$loglog+(1/|x|)vortices (and those that are slightly less singular) travel with the fluid in a nonlinear fashion, up to bounded perturbations. We also give stability results for weak Euler solutions away from their singular set.

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  2. Abstract

    Material elements – which are lines, surfaces, or volumes behaving as passive, non-diffusive markers – provide an inherently geometric window into the intricate dynamics of chaotic flows. Their stretching and folding dynamics has immediate implications for mixing in the oceans or the atmosphere, as well as the emergence of self-sustained dynamos in astrophysical settings. Here, we uncover robust statistical properties of an ensemble of material loops in a turbulent environment. Our approach combines high-resolution direct numerical simulations of Navier-Stokes turbulence, stochastic models, and dynamical systems techniques to reveal predictable, universal features of these complex objects. We show that the loop curvature statistics become stationary through a dynamical formation process of high-curvature folds, leading to distributions with power-law tails whose exponents are determined by the large-deviations statistics of finite-time Lyapunov exponents of the flow. This prediction applies to advected material lines in a broad range of chaotic flows. To complement this dynamical picture, we confirm our theory in the analytically tractable Kraichnan model with an exact Fokker-Planck approach.

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  3. A defining feature of three-dimensional hydrodynamic turbulence is that the rate of energy dissipation is bounded away from zero as viscosity is decreased (Reynolds number increased). This phenomenon—anomalous dissipation—is sometimes called the ‘zeroth law of turbulence’ as it underpins many celebrated theoretical predictions. Another robust feature observed in turbulence is that velocity structure functions S p ( ℓ ) := ⟨ | δ ℓ u | p ⟩ exhibit persistent power-law scaling in the inertial range, namely S p ( ℓ ) ∼ | ℓ | ζ p for exponents ζ p > 0 over an ever increasing (with Reynolds) range of scales. This behaviour indicates that the velocity field retains some fractional differentiability uniformly in the Reynolds number. The Kolmogorov 1941 theory of turbulence predicts that ζ p = p / 3 for all p and Onsager’s 1949 theory establishes the requirement that ζ p ≤ p / 3 for p ≥   3 for consistency with the zeroth law. Empirically, ζ 2 ⪆ 2 / 3 and ζ 3 ⪅ 1 , suggesting that turbulent Navier–Stokes solutions approximate dissipative weak solutions of the Euler equations possessing (nearly) the minimal degree of singularity required to sustain anomalous dissipation. In this note, we adopt an experimentally supported hypothesis on the anti-alignment of velocity increments with their separation vectors and demonstrate that the inertial dissipation provides a regularization mechanism via the Kolmogorov 4/5-law. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Mathematical problems in physical fluid dynamics (part 2)’. 
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  4. We study two-dimensional Rayleigh–Bénard convection with Navier-slip, fixed temperature boundary conditions and establish bounds on the Nusselt number. As the slip-length varies with Rayleigh number R a , this estimate interpolates between the Whitehead–Doering bound by R a 5 12 for free-slip conditions (Whitehead & Doering. 2011 Ultimate state of two-dimensional Rayleigh–Bénard convection between free-slip fixed-temperature boundaries. Phys. Rev. Lett. 106 , 244501) and the classical Doering–Constantin R a 1 2 bound (Doering & Constantin. 1996 Variational bounds on energy dissipation in incompressible flows. III. Convection. Phys. Rev. E 53 , 5957–5981). This article is part of the theme issue ‘Mathematical problems in physical fluid dynamics (part 1)’. 
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  5. Abstract We study stationary free boundary configurations of an ideal incompressible magnetohydrodynamic fluid possessing nested flux surfaces. In 2D simply connected domains, we prove that if the magnetic field and velocity field are never commensurate, the only possible domain for any such equilibria is a disk, and the velocity and magnetic field are circular. We give examples of non-symmetric equilibria occupying a domain of any shape by imposing an external magnetic field generated by a singular current sheet charge distribution (external coils). Some results carry over to 3D axisymmetric solutions. These results highlight the importance of external magnetic fields for the existence of asymmetric equilibria. 
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