Relative equilibria of point vortices on the sphere

Chjan Lim, James Montaldi, Mark Roberts

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    We prove the existence of many different symmetry types of relative equilibria for systems of identical point vortices on a non-rotating sphere. The proofs use the rotational symmetry group SO(3) and the resulting conservation laws, the time-reversing reflectional symmetries in O(3), and the finite symmetry group of permutations of identical vortices. Results include both global existence theorems and local results on bifurcations from equilibria. A more detailed study is made of relative equilibria which consist of two parallel rings with n vortices in each rotating about a common axis. The paper ends with discussions of the bifurcation diagrams for systems of 3-6 identical vortices.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)97-135
    Number of pages38
    JournalPhysica D: Nonlinear Phenomena
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001


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