Effects of boundary condition in numerical simulations of vortex dynamics

D. S. Pradeep, F. Hussain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


We show that the periodic boundary conditions typically applied in numerical simulations of vortex dynamics can lead to significantly incorrect results even when the vortex cores are small compared to the computational domain. This is demonstrated for two previously studied flows which capture signiticant flow physics: (i) an isolated vortex embedded in fine-scale turbulence; (ii) two antiparallel vortices of unequal strength undergoing reconnection. In case (i), periodicity, when invoked, results in strong, unphysical turbulence growth leading to vortex core transition, whereas the vortex remains totally intact during its interaction with the turbulence when periodicity is not invoked. In case (ii), the vortex interaction, including reconnection, is significantly distorted. These differences are due to the artificial zero circulation constraint, inherent in periodic simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-124
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Oct 10 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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