Vortices are the basic building blocks of fluid mechanics, and are present in the flows that surround us in our everyday lives. We recognize them when we see twirling leaves in the fall, when we stir milk in a coffee cup, or when we blow out a candle and watch the smoke streaks rise. From a scientific perspective, investigating the evolution of vortices holds the key to understanding the fundamental processes that underly phenomena ranging from aircraft flight to blood flow in the heart.
This poster provides an example of the evolution of a particular vortex, simulated on a computer cluster and visualized to highlight the particular structure of the vortex core. The images show how initial core size variations of a simple tube of vorticity, rapidly lead to twisting distortions of the core and a ring-like local disturbance of the vortex. We hypothesize that further investigation of this particular process, called vortex bursting, can provide new insights into the interplay between twist and vortex instabilities, and its potential to radically change the nature of the vorticity field.