Linear instability for incompressible inviscid fluid flows : two classes of perturbations
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One approach to examining the stability of a fluid flow is to linearize the evolution equation at an equilibrium and determine (if possible) the stability of the resulting linear evolution equation. In this dissertation, the space of perturbations of the equilibrium flow is split into two classes and growth of the linear evolution operator on each class is analyzed. Our classification of perturbations is most naturally described in V.I. Arnold’s geometric view of fluid dynamics. The first class of perturbations we examine are those that preserve the topology of vortex lines and the second class is the factor space corresponding to the first class. In this dissertation we establish lower bounds for the essential spectral radius of the linear evolution operator restricted to each class of perturbations.