School of Mathematics Colloquium
Thursday, November 6, 2008 - 11:00am
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
In this talk, we discuss 1.) the nonlinear instability and unstable manifolds of steady solutions of the Euler equation with fixed domains and 2.) the evolution of free (inviscid) fluid surfaces, which may involve vorticity, gravity, surface tension, or magnetic fields. These problems can be formulated in a Lagrangian formulation on infinite dimensional manifolds of volume preserving diffeomorphisms with an invariant Lie group action. In this setting, the physical pressure turns out to come from the combination of the gravity, surface tension, and the Lagrangian multiplier. The vorticity is naturally related to an invariant group action. In the absence of surface tension, the well-known Rayleigh-Taylor and Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities appear naturally related to the signs of the curvatures of those infinite dimensional manifolds. Based on these considerations, we obtain 1.) the existence of unstable manifolds and L^2 nonlinear instability in the cases of the fixed domains and 2.) in the free boundary cases, the local well-posedness with surface tension in a rather uniform energy method. In particular, for the cases without surface tension which do not involve hydrodynamical instabilities, we obtain the local existence of solutions by taking the vanishing surface tension limit.