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We have numerically studied the bifurcations and transition to chaos in a two-dimensional fluid for varying values of the Reynolds number. These investigations have been motivated by experiments in fluids, where an array of vortices was driven by an electromotive force. In these experiments, successive changes leading to a complex motion of the vortices, due to increased forcing, have been explored [Tabeling, Perrin, and Fauve, J. Fluid Mech. 213, 511 (1990)]. We model this experiment by means of two-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations with a special external forcing, driving a linear chain of eight counter-rotating vortices, imposing stress-free boundary conditions in the vertical direction and periodic boundary conditions in the horizontal direction. As the strength of the forcing or the Reynolds number is raised, the original stationary vortex array becomes unstable and a complex sequence of bifurcations is observed. Several steady states and periodic branches and a period doubling cascade appear on the route to chaos. For increasing values of the Reynolds number, shear flow develops, for which the spatial scale is large compared to the scale of the forcing. Furthermore, we have investigated the influence of the aspect ratio of the container as well as the effect of no-slip boundary conditions at the top and bottom, on the bifurcation scenario.

The bifurcations in a three-dimensional incompressible, electrically conducting fluid with an external forcing of the Roberts type have been studied numerically. The corresponding flow can serve as a model for the convection in the outer core of the Earth and is realized in an ongoing laboratory experiment aimed at demonstrating a dynamo effect. The symmetry group of the problem has been determined and special attention has been paid to symmetry breaking by the bifurcations. The nonmagnetic, steady Roberts flow loses stability to a steady magnetic state, which in turn is subject to secondary bifurcations. The secondary solution branches have been traced until they end up in chaotic states.

Two-dimensional bouyancy-driven convection in a horizontal fluid layer with stress-free boundary conditions at top and bottom and periodic boundary conditions in the horizontal direction is investigated by means of numerical simulation and bifurcation-analysis techniques. As the bouyancy forces increase, the primary stationary and symmetric convection rolls undergo successive Hopf bifurcations, bifurcations to traveling waves, and phase lockings. We pay attention to symmetry breaking and its connection with the generation of large-scale horizontal flows. Calculations of Lyapunov exponents indicate that at a Rayleigh number of 2.3×105 no temporal chaos is reached yet, but the system moves nonchaotically on a 4-torus in phase space.

We have studied the bifurcation structure of the incompressible two-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations with a special external forcing driving an array of 8×8 counterrotating vortices. The study has been motivated by recent experiments with thin layers of electrolytes showing, among other things, the formation of large-scale spatial patterns. As the strength of the forcing or the Reynolds number is raised the original stationary vortex array becomes unstable and a complex sequence of bifurcations is observed. The bifurcations lead to several periodic branches, torus and chaotic solutions, and other stationary solutions. Most remarkable is the appearance of solutions characterized by structures on spatial scales large compared to the scale of the forcing. We also characterize the different dynamic regimes by means of tracers injected into the fluid. Stretching rates and Hausdorff dimensions of convected line elements are calculated to quantify the mixing process. It turns out that for time-periodic velocity fields the mixing can be very effective.

We have studied the bifurcations in a three-dimensional incompressible magnetofluid with periodic boundary conditions and an external forcing of the Arnold-Beltrami-Childress (ABC) type. Bifurcation-analysis techniques have been applied to explore the qualitative behavior of solution branches. Due to the symmetry of the forcing, the equations are equivariant with respect to a group of transformations isomorphic to the octahedral group, and we have paid special attention to symmetry-breaking effects. As the Reynolds number is increased, the primary nonmagnetic steady state, the ABC flow, loses its stability to a periodic magnetic state, showing the appearance of a generic dynamo effect; the critical value of the Reynolds number for the instability of the ABC flow is decreased compared to the purely hydrodynamic case. The bifurcating magnetic branch in turn is subject to secondary, symmetry-breaking bifurcations. We have traced periodic and quasi- periodic branches until they end up in chaotic states. In particular detail we have analyzed the subgroup symmetries of the bifurcating periodic branches, which are closely related to the spatial structure of the magnetic field.

We have numerically studied the bifurcation properties of a sheet pinch with impenetrable stress-free boundaries. An incompressible, electrically conducting fluid with spatially and temporally uniform kinematic viscosity and magnetic diffusivity is confined between planes at x1=0 and 1. Periodic boundary conditions are assumed in the x2 and x3 directions and the magnetofluid is driven by an electric field in the x3 direction, prescribed on the boundary planes. There is a stationary basic state with the fluid at rest and a uniform current J=(0,0,J3). Surprisingly, this basic state proves to be stable and apparently to be the only time-asymptotic state, no matter how strong the applied electric field and irrespective of the other control parameters of the system, namely, the magnetic Prandtl number, the spatial periods L2 and L3 in the x2 and x3 directions, and the mean values B¯2 and B¯3 of the magnetic-field components in these directions.

The usage of nonlinear Galerkin methods for the numerical solution of partial differential equations is demonstrated by treating an example. We desribe the implementation of a nonlinear Galerkin method based on an approximate inertial manifold for the 3D magnetohydrodynamic equations and compare its efficiency with the linear Galerkin approximation. Special bifurcation points, time-averaged values of energy and enstrophy as well as Kaplan-Yorke dimensions are calculated for both schemes in order to estimate the number of modes necessary to correctly describe the behavior of the exact solutions.

We have studied bifurcation phenomena for the incompressable Navier-Stokes equations in two space dimensions with periodic boundary conditions. Fourier representations of velocity and pressure have been used to transform the original partial differential equations into systems of ordinary differential equations (ODE), to which then numerical methods for the qualitative analysis of systems of ODE have been applied, supplemented by the simulative calculation of solutions for selected initial conditions. Invariant sets, notably steady states, have been traced for varying Reynolds number or strength of the imposed forcing, respectively. A complete bifurcation sequence leading to chaos is described in detail, including the calculation of the Lyapunov exponents that characterize the resulting chaotic branch in the bifurcation diagram.

We report on bifurcation studies for the incompressible magnetohydrodynamic equations in three space dimensions with periodic boundary conditions and a temporally constant external forcing. Fourier reprsentations of velocity, pressure and magnetic field have been used to transform the original partial differential equations into systems of ordinary differential equations (ODE), to which then special numerical methods for the qualitative analysis of systems of ODE have been applied, supplemented by the simulative calculation of solutions for selected initial conditions. In a part of the calculations, in order to reduce the number of modes to be retained, the concept of approximate inertial manifolds has been applied. For varying (incereasing from zero) strength of the imposed forcing, or varying Reynolds number, respectively, time-asymptotic states, notably stable stationary solutions, have been traced. A primary non-magnetic steady state loses, in a Hopf bifurcation, stability to a periodic state with a non-vanishing magnetic field, showing the appearance of a generic dynamo effect. From now on the magnetic field is present for all values of the forcing. The Hopf bifurcation is followed by furhter, symmetry-breaking, bifurcations, leading finally to chaos. We pay particular attention to kinetic and magnetic helicities. The dynamo effect is observed only if the forcing is chosen such that a mean kinetic helicity is generated; otherwise the magnetic field diffuses away, and the time-asymptotic states are non-magnetic, in accordance with traditional kinematic dynamo theory.

We have shown that the two-dimensional complex Ginzburg-Landau equation exhibits supertransient chaos in a certain parameter range. Using numerical methods this behavior is found near the transition line separating frozen spiral solutions from turbulence. Supertransient chaos seems to be a common phenomenon in extended spatiotemporal systems. These supertransients are characterized by an average transient lifetime which depends exponentially on the size of the system and are due to an underlying nonattracting chaotic set.