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Zakopane Limericks

At the IUTAM Symposium "Tubes, Sheets and Singularities in Fluid Dynamics" held in Zakopane (September 2001), I found it helpful, for myself  if for no-one else, to compose an abstract of each lecture in the form of a limerick.   Here is a selection of these limericks, some of which appeared in the Proceedings of the Symposium


When water is pushed through a hole,

The ring vortex plays a key role;

   When the core is quite thin,

   Res'nant waves are packed in;

To grasp them, why that is the goal!



A sheet that is stretched, in collusion    

With limited viscous diffusion,    

   Upon a flat table,    

   Is grossly unstable;    

But frankly, it's all a delusion.



That a vortex sheet is unstable    

Was known to the people of Babel;    

   We find by immersion    

   Dispersion relation,    

And solve it as well as we're able.



Vorticity fields can collapse    

Under Hamiltonian maps;    

    Singularities form,    

    It may be the norm    

In turbulent flows; well p'raps! 



It's a matter of utmost felicity    

That a vortex can change its helicity    

   From right- to left-handed --     

   See in papers expanded    

My work on breakdown of vorticity.



When the strain on a tube is unsteady,

For excitable modes please be ready:

    By scaling we claim

    In a suitable frame

A vortex bursts into an eddy.


When driv'n by extreme agitation,    

I am subject to fierce dissipation;    

  In each current sheet    

  There's created much heat,    

And my field thus achieves saturation.



If seeing a third-order link    

You colour it green, brown and pink,    

   Invariants follow,    

   As hills follow hollow;    

So a field triply-linked cannot shrink.



If  you're not too dreadfully weary,    

You'll ask what's the point of this theory?    

    Just please recollect    

    That  B-lines reconnect;    

I hope that will answer your query! 



I talk of disruptive explosion,    

Which generates plasma erosion,    

   Swift as an arrow,    

   The fingers get narrow,    

I present it as digit implosion.



The process of line reconnection    

Results from diffusion-advection;    

   With a flick of the wrist    

    I can generate twist,    

And this for your greater delection! 



With a strain that's non-axisymmetric,

The dance of two whorls is quite hectic;

   They pulse and converge

   And eventually merge;

The whole process is quite apoplectic!



The magnetic field of the Sun    

Engenders a whole lot of fun;    

    There's nothing to beat    

    Collapse to a sheet,    

And that's how the heating's begun.



We measured the helical flow    

In a tube at some speeds high and low;   

    We readily reckoned    

    Four meters per second    

As the critical speed you should know. 



Topological arguments show    

That the energy's bounded below;    

    But what's so engrossing's    

    The number of crossings,    

From which my new insights will flow.


We found a complexity measure --    

It really is quite a treasure --    

    For a vortex entangled,    

    By methods new-fangled;    

I'll explain if you have enough leisure.



Research on fields anisotropic    

Is surely an interesting topic;    

    The unit binormal    

    Shows features abnormal,    

As seen if you're not too myopic!



In turbulence near to a wall    

There are structures much longer than tall;    

    With the breakdown of streaks,    

    The vorticity peaks;    

And the speed can slow down to a crawl.



Of wavelets I'm an adherent;     

Some people think me quite errant!    

    But like structures extracted    

    By techniques compacted,    

My lecture's entirely coherent. 



Here's a blob that's subjected to swirl;    

It's a problem for somebody virile!    

    But right at the core    

    Where it turns more and more,    

That's where I get in a whirl.



I'll analyse Navier-Stokes,    

For dynamics of vodkas and cokes;    

    [A] is an entity    

    Near the identity;    

That's how I'll baffle you folks!



I live in the boundary layer    

Which I handle with exquisite care;    

    But near separation    

    There's an queer indication    

Of something that shouldn't be there! 



Singularity? Yes, I conceive it,    

The problem is how to achieve it;    

    With array octahedral    

    Like a modern cathedral --    

When you see it, you better believe it!  



Mass in the cosmos is clumpy,    

Sometimes it makes me quite grumpy;   

    I go backwards in time    

    By methods sublime,    

To find out what makes us so bumpy. 



I'll paint you a dazzling picture    

Of the truth of the Maslov conjecture;    


    Weak singularity --    

That is the gist of my lecture.



I use without any compunction    

A well-chosen wavelet function;    

    With theorems nice,    

    And methods concise,    

My results are immune to debunction. 



Flow past a wall that is rough    

Is a problem to do off-the-cuff;    

    When the surface is toothed,    

    It's effectively smoothed,    

By a mapping that's complex enough. 



I'll talk about quantum switchover    

As felt going from Calais to Dover;    

    The vortex lines shift    

    Reconnect and then lift . . .    

I'm sorry my lecture's now over! 



On the problem of vortices five,    

For long I've continued to strive;    

    Sometimes they're stable,    

    And then I am able    

To show how they jiggle and jive.



I'll try to  put it in  words:    

You'll think I'm away with the birds!    

    Turb'lence compressible  --   

    Spectrum of decibel,    

K to the  minus five-thirds. 

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