Topological Aspects of the Dynamics of Fluids and Plasmas
This volume contains papers arising out of the program of the Institute for Theoretical Physics (ITP) of the University of California at Santa Bar bara, August-December 1991, on the subject "Topological Fluid Dynamics". The first group of papers cover the lectures on Knot Theory, Relaxation un der Topological Constraints, Kinematics of Stretching, and Fast Dynamo Theory presented at the initial Pedagogical Workshop of the program. The remaining papers were presented at the subsequent NATO Advanced Re search Workshop or were written during the course of the program. We wish to acknowledge the support of the NATO Science Committee in making this workshop possible. The scope of "Topological Fluid Dynamics" was defined by an earlier Symposium of the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechan ics (IUTAM) held in Cambridge, England in August, 1989, the Proceedings of which were published (Eds. H.K. Moffatt and A. Tsinober) by Cambridge University Press in 1990. The proposal to hold an ITP program on this sub ject emerged from that Symposium, and we are grateful to John Greene and Charlie Kennel at whose encouragement the original proposal was formu lated. Topological fluid dynamics covers a range of problems, particularly those involving vortex tubes and/or magnetic flux tubes in nearly ideal fluids, for which topological structures can be identified and to some extent quantified.