Entropy of negative temperature states for a point vortex gas

Davide Maestrini (Lead Author), Hayder Salman

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We study the dynamics and statistical mechanical equilibria of a neutral two-dimensional point vortex gas with Coulomb-like interactions confined in a squared and a rectangular domain. Using a punctuated Hamiltonian model in which we model the process of vortex-antivortex annihilation in superfluids by removing vortex dipoles, we show that this leads to evaporative heating of the system. Consequently, the vortex gas enters the negative temperature regime and subsequently relaxes to a maximum entropy configuration. We demonstrate that the large scale flows that emerge in this regime can be explained by using an equilibrium statistical mechanical mean field theory of point vortices based on a Poisson-Boltzmann (PB) equation. In particular, we observe that the emergent large scale flows in our point vortex simulations in the squared domain give rise to a spontaneous acquisition of angular momentum whereas the flows in the rectangular domain prefers a state with zero angular momentum. In addition to the observed qualitative agreement between the dynamical simulations and the theory that we demonstrate for the two geometries, we also present an approach that allows us to accurately compute a coarse-grained vorticity field, and henceforth recover the entropy from our dynamical runs. This allows us to perform a quantitative comparison between the dynamical point vortex simulations and the statistical mechanical predictions of the mean field theory thereby allowing us to clearly assert the validity of the assumptions of the statistical approaches as applied to this system with long-range interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)981–1008
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Statistical Physics
Issue number4
Early online date25 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

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