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Journal Articles Journal of Mathematical Fluid Mechanics Year : 2023

Numerical Investigations of Non-uniqueness for the Navier–Stokes Initial Value Problem in Borderline Spaces

Abstract

We consider the Cauchy problem for the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations in $\mathbb{R}^3$ for a one-parameter family of explicit scale-invariant axi-symmetric initial data, which is smooth away from the origin and invariant under the reflection with respect to the $xy$-plane. Working in the class of axi-symmetric fields, we calculate numerically scale-invariant solutions of the Cauchy problem in terms of their profile functions, which are smooth. The solutions are necessarily unique for small data, but for large data we observe a breaking of the reflection symmetry of the initial data through a pitchfork-type bifurcation. By a variation of previous results by Jia & Šverák (2013) it is known rigorously that if the behavior seen here numerically can be proved, optimal non-uniqueness examples for the Cauchy problem can be established, and two different solutions can exists for the same initial datum which is divergence-free, smooth away from the origin, compactly supported, and locally $(-1)$-homogeneous near the origin. In particular, assuming our (finite-dimensional) numerics represents faithfully the behavior of the full (infinite-dimensional) system, the problem of uniqueness of the Leray-Hopf solutions (with non-smooth initial data) has a negative answer and, in addition, the perturbative arguments such those by Kato (1984) and Koch & Tataru (2001), or the weak-strong uniqueness results by Leray, Prodi, Serrin, Ladyzhenskaya and others, already give essentially optimal results. There are no singularities involved in the numerics, as we work only with smooth profile functions. It is conceivable that our calculations could be upgraded to a computer-assisted proof, although this would involve a substantial amount of additional work and calculations, including a much more detailed analysis of the asymptotic expansions of the solutions at large distances.

Dates and versions

hal-04112126 , version 1 (31-05-2023)

Identifiers

Cite

Julien Guillod, Vladimír Šverák. Numerical Investigations of Non-uniqueness for the Navier–Stokes Initial Value Problem in Borderline Spaces. Journal of Mathematical Fluid Mechanics, 2023, 25 (3), pp.46. ⟨10.1007/s00021-023-00789-5⟩. ⟨hal-04112126⟩
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