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A model of vortex reconnection

Saffman, P. G. (1990) A model of vortex reconnection. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 212 . pp. 395-402. ISSN 0022-1120. doi:10.1017/S0022112090002026.

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A model is proposed to describe the breaking and rejoining of vortex lines which occurs when vortex filaments of equal and opposite strengths touch. It is based on the idea that viscosity cancels the vorticity where the filaments first touch. The weakening of the centrifugal force in the vortex core then leads to a local increase in the pressure which accelerates the fluid in the cores in the axial direction and convects the vorticity away from the initial contact and produces an apparent rejoining. Hyperbolic equations to describe the process are formulated and numerical solutions are obtained. Estimates of the timescales are made and compared with the experimental data of Schatzle (1987). Reasonable agreement is found.

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Additional Information:© 1990 Cambridge University Press. Reprinted with permission. (Received 19 April 1989) This paper is dedicated with respect and appreciation to my thesis advisor, Professor G.K. Batchelor, to commemorate his extensive and valuable contributions to Fluid Dynamics over many years. I wish to thank Professor D. Meiron, Professor D.W. Moore, and especially Dr D.I. Pullin for the benefit of discussions on the model and for valuable suggestions. The work was supported by the Department of Energy, Applied Mathematical Sciences (DE-AS03-76ER72012 KC-07-01-01).
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Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AS03-76ER72012 KC-07-01-0
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Deposited On:09 Apr 2008
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