Dean’s Speaker Series in Geometry/Topology
April 25, 2013Tweet
Robert Jerrard, professor of mathematics, University of Toronto, will speak from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25, in LN-2205. His topic is titled “Weak solutions of an equation describing vortex filaments.” An old conjecture, dating back to the early 20th century, holds that vortex filaments in ideal fluids in certain limits can be described by a geometric evolution equation called the binormal curvature flow. Smooth solutions of the binormal curvature flow are mostly well-understood. However, it is interesting and possibly useful to study rough solutions as well, for a couple of (probably orthogonal) reasons: because non-smooth vortex filaments may occur in physical fluids, and because some rough solutions of the binormal curvature flow are conjectured to exhibit very rich, peculiar (and probably nonphysical) behavior with surprising number-theoretic properties. This talk will describe the history of some of these conjectures, which remain completely open, as well as a recent proposal for a notion of very weak solutions of the binormal curvature flow which reveals some previously unexpected stability properties.