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Singularity Formation in Incompressible Fluids and Related Models


Chen, Jiajie (2022) Singularity Formation in Incompressible Fluids and Related Models. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/nqff-dh92.


Whether the three-dimensional (3D) incompressible Euler equations can develop a finite-time singularity from smooth initial data with finite energy is a major open problem in partial differential equations. A few years ago, Tom Hou and Guo Luo obtained strong numerical evidence of a potential finite time singularity of the 3D axisymmetric Euler equations with boundary from smooth initial data. So far, there is no rigorous justification. In this thesis, we develop a framework to study the Hou-Luo blowup scenario and singularity formation in related equations and models. In addition, we analyze the obstacle to singularity formation.

In the first part, we propose a novel framework of analysis based on the dynamic rescaling formulation to study singularity formation. Our strategy is to reformulate the problem of proving finite time blowup into the problem of establishing the nonlinear stability of an approximate self-similar blowup profile using the dynamic rescaling equations. Then we prove finite time blowup of the 2D Boussinesq and the 3D Euler equations with C1,α velocity and boundary. This result provides the first rigorous justification of the Hou-Luo scenario using C1,α velocity.

In the second part, we further develop the framework for smooth data. The method in the first part relies crucially on the low regularity of the data, and there are several essential difficulties to generalize it to study the Hou-Luo scenario with smooth data. We demonstrate that some of the challenges can be overcome by proving the asymptotically self-similar blowup of the Hou-Luo model. Applying this framework, we establish the finite time blowup of the De Gregorio (DG) model on the real line (ℝ) with smooth data. Our result resolves the open problem on the regularity of this model on ℝ that has been open for quite a long time.

In the third part, we investigate the competition between advection and vortex stretching, an essential difficulty in studying the regularity of the 3D Euler equations. This competition can be modeled by the DG model on S1. We consider odd initial data with a specific sign property and show that the regularity of the initial data in this class determines the competition between advection and vortex stretching. For any 0 < α < 1, we construct a finite time blowup solution from some Cα initial data. On the other hand, we prove that the solution exists globally for C1 initial data. Our results resolve some conjecture on the finite time blowup of this model and imply that singularities developed in the DG model and the generalized Constantin-Lax-Majda model on S1 can be prevented by stronger advection.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:3D incompressible Euler equations, singularity formation, Hou-Luo scenario
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Applied And Computational Mathematics
Awards:The W.P. Carey and Co. Prize in Applied Mathematics, 2022.
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Hou, Thomas Y.
Thesis Committee:
  • Stuart, Andrew M. (chair)
  • Hou, Thomas Y.
  • Isett, Philip
  • Owhadi, Houman
Defense Date:12 May 2022
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:05172022-223804694
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription adapted for Chapter 3 adapted for Chapter 2 adapted for Chapter 4
ttps:// adapted for Chapter 5
Chen, Jiajie0000-0002-0194-1975
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:14584
Deposited By: Jiajie Chen
Deposited On:23 May 2022 19:21
Last Modified:06 Jun 2023 18:23

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