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Studies in vortex motion


Baker, Gregory Richard (1977) Studies in vortex motion. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/4yv1-7109.


This thesis covers four different problems in the understanding of vortex sheets, and these are presented in four chapters.

In Chapter 1, free streamline theory is used to determine the steady solutions of an array of identical, hollow or stagnant core vortices in an inviscid, incompressible fluid. Assuming the array is symmetric to rotation through π radians about an axis through any vortex centre, there are two solutions or no solutions depending on whether A^(1/2)/L is less than or greater than 0.38 where A is the area of the vortex and L is the separation distance. Stability analysis shows that the more deformed shape is unstable to infinitesimal symmetric disturbances which leave the centres of the vortices undisplaced.

Chapter 2 is concerned with the roll-up of vortex sheets in homogeneous fluid. The flow over conventional and ring wings is used to test the method of Fink and Soh (1974). Despite modifications which improve the accuracy of the method, unphysical results occur. A possible explanation for this is that small scales are important and an alternate method based on "Cloud-in-Cell" techniques is introduced. The results show small scale growth and amalgamation into larger structures.

The motion of a buoyant pair of line vortices of opposite circulation is considered in Chapter 3. The density difference between the fluid carried by the vortices and the fluid outside is considered small, so that the Boussinesq approximation may be used. A macroscopic model is developed which shows the formation of a detrainment filament and this is included as a modification to the model. The results agree well with the numerical solution as developed by Hill (1975b) and show that after an initial slowdown, the vortices begin to accelerate downwards.

Chapter 4 reproduces completely a paper that has already been published (Baker, Barker, Bofah and Saffman (1974)) on the effect of "vortex wandering" on the measurement of velocity profiles of the trailing vortices behind a wing.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Applied Mathematics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Applied Mathematics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Saffman, Philip G.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:21 September 1976
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:03252013-131037625
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7553
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:25 Mar 2013 21:00
Last Modified:09 Nov 2022 19:20

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