Leapfrogging Vortices

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This numerical simulation shows two pairs of vortices interacting in a leap-frogging motion. Another version shows the same situation but with a small perturbation in the rotational alignment that causes even more interesting interactions. Both simulations are of potential flow–an idealized flow without viscosity where velocity can be described as the gradient of a scalar function. The mathematics governing potential flow are notably easier than the full Navier-Stokes equations that govern fluid mechanics. (submitted by jessecaps)

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