On singularity formation via viscous vortexA reconnection

Jie Yao, Fazle Hussain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Recognizing the fact that the finite-time singularity of the Navier-Stokes equations is widely accepted as a key issue in fundamental fluid mechanics, and motivated by the recent model of Moffatt & Kimura (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 861, 2019a, pp. 930-967; J.A Fluid Mech., vol. 870, 2019b, R1) on this issue, we have performed direct numerical simulation (DNS) for two colliding slender vortex rings of radius. The separation between the two tipping points and the scale of the core cross-section are chosen as ; the vortex Reynolds number ranges from 1000 to 4000. In contrast to the claim that the core remains compact and circular, there is notable core flattening and stripping, which further increases with - akin to our previous finding in the standard anti-parallel vortex reconnection. Furthermore, the induced motion of bridges arrests the curvature growth and vortex stretching at the tipping points; consequently, the maximum vorticity grows with substantially slower than the exponential scaling predicted by the model - implying that, for this configuration, even physical singularity is unlikely. Our simulations not only shed light on the longstanding question of finite-time singularities, but also further delineate the detailed mechanisms of reconnection. In particular, we show for the first time that the separation distance before reconnection follows 1/2 scaling exactly - a significant DNS result.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberR2
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - 2020


  • turbulence theory
  • vortex dynamics
  • vortex interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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