Vortex line topology during vortex tube reconnection

Philip Mcgavin, David Pontin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
179 Downloads (Pure)


This paper addresses reconnection of vortex tubes, with particular focus on the topology of the vortex lines (field lines of the vorticity). This analysis of vortex line topology reveals key features of the reconnection process, such as the generation of many small flux rings, formed when reconnection occurs in multiple locations in the vortex sheet between the tubes. Consideration of three-dimensional reconnection principles leads to a robust measurement of the reconnection rate, even once instabilities break the symmetry. It also allows us to identify internal reconnection of vortex lines within the individual vortex tubes. Finally, the introduction of a third vortex tube is shown to render the vortex reconnection process fully three-dimensional, leading to a fundamental change in the topological structure of the process. An additional interesting feature is the generation of vorticity null points.

Original languageEnglish
Article number054701
JournalPhysical Review Fluids
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Vortex line topology during vortex tube reconnection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this