An understanding of the process by which vorticity interacts with a free surface is sought by analytical examination of the free-surface condition for the vorticity flux. A novel mechanism is suggested that permits closed vortex loops to evolve into open loops terminating at the free surface. It is hypothesized that abrupt vortex “disconnection,” observed in physical experiments, arises from a smooth diffusion of vorticity through the interface, with a necessary coincident tangential acceleration of the interface attributed to viscous forces.
Issue Section:Research Papers
Topics:Vortices, Vorticity, Diffusion (Physics)
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by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers