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Title: Kelvin-Helmholtz instability is the result of parity-time symmetry breaking

Abstract

Parity-Time (PT)-symmetry is being actively investigated as a fundamental property of observables in quantum physics. We show that the governing equations of the classical two-fluid interaction and the incompressible fluid system are PT-symmetric, and the well-known Kelvin-Helmholtz instability is the result of spontaneous PT-symmetry breaking. It is expected that all classical conservative systems governed by Newton's law admit PT-symmetry, and the spontaneous breaking thereof is a generic mechanism for classical instabilities. Here discovering the PT-symmetry of systems in fluid dynamics and plasma physics and identifying the PT-symmetry breaking responsible for instabilities enable new techniques to classical physics and enrich the physics of PT-symmetry.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3];  [4]
  1. Princeton Univ., Princeton, NJ (United States); Univ. of Science and Technology of China, Hefei (China)
  2. Beijing Jiaotong Univ., Beijing (China)
  3. Princeton Univ., Princeton, NJ (United States)
  4. Univ. of Science and Technology of China, Hefei (China)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1511479
Grant/Contract Number:  
NSFC-11575186; 2017LH002; AC02-09CH11466
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 26; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY

Citation Formats

Qin, Hong, Zhang, Ruili, Glasser, Alexander S., and Xiao, Jianyuan. Kelvin-Helmholtz instability is the result of parity-time symmetry breaking. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1063/1.5088498.
Qin, Hong, Zhang, Ruili, Glasser, Alexander S., & Xiao, Jianyuan. Kelvin-Helmholtz instability is the result of parity-time symmetry breaking. United States. doi:10.1063/1.5088498.
Qin, Hong, Zhang, Ruili, Glasser, Alexander S., and Xiao, Jianyuan. Mon . "Kelvin-Helmholtz instability is the result of parity-time symmetry breaking". United States. doi:10.1063/1.5088498.
@article{osti_1511479,
title = {Kelvin-Helmholtz instability is the result of parity-time symmetry breaking},
author = {Qin, Hong and Zhang, Ruili and Glasser, Alexander S. and Xiao, Jianyuan},
abstractNote = {Parity-Time (PT)-symmetry is being actively investigated as a fundamental property of observables in quantum physics. We show that the governing equations of the classical two-fluid interaction and the incompressible fluid system are PT-symmetric, and the well-known Kelvin-Helmholtz instability is the result of spontaneous PT-symmetry breaking. It is expected that all classical conservative systems governed by Newton's law admit PT-symmetry, and the spontaneous breaking thereof is a generic mechanism for classical instabilities. Here discovering the PT-symmetry of systems in fluid dynamics and plasma physics and identifying the PT-symmetry breaking responsible for instabilities enable new techniques to classical physics and enrich the physics of PT-symmetry.},
doi = {10.1063/1.5088498},
journal = {Physics of Plasmas},
issn = {1070-664X},
number = 3,
volume = 26,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {3}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
This content will become publicly available on March 4, 2020
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