Nick Poovuttikul (21/03/2019)

Valentina Giangreco, March 15, 2019

Math Colloquium

Speaker: Nick Poovuttikul, University of Iceland

Title: Is hydrodynamics a theory of series expansion?

Location: VR-II 258
Time: Thursday March 21 at 11.40 am


Hydrodynamics is one of the most successful theories in physics which describe dynamics across various length scales: from a few micrometers to the scale of galaxies. (some) Physicists tried to come up with an explanation why such a simple set of equations works so well. One of the most accepted explanations is based on the theorem by Nother which related the existence of divergence free quantities to the continuous global symmetries of the system. According to this, hydrodynamics is the gradient expansion of these quantities.

There are, however, many problems with this ‘explanation’, loosely speaking due to the lack of proper definitions of this gradient expansion scheme. I will go through a few scenarios where sometimes the procedure gives a non-sensible prediction such as the water is unstable, sometimes the gradient expansions is non-analytical (which can be observed experimentally), sometimes it gives a signal that travel faster than the speed of light or doesn’t even give the same collective excitations that were observed in the real systems, even in the regime where the hydrodynamic should be applicable.

Unfortunately, I have no mathematically satisfying answer to this question. So this overview talk will be a list of personal questions and puzzles I found while trying to understand what hydrodynamics really means.