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NOTE to Eric Hirschmann & David Neilsen... I have move the earlier contents of this page to a new Wiki location called Compressible Riemann Ellipsoids.

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Rotating Reference Frame

Whitworth's (1981) Isothermal Free-Energy Surface
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At times, it can be useful to view the motion of a fluid from a frame of reference that is rotating with a uniform (i.e., time-independent) angular velocity ~\Omega_f. In order to transform any one of the principal governing equations from the inertial reference frame to such a rotating reference frame, we must specify the orientation as well as the magnitude of the angular velocity vector about which the frame is spinning, {\vec\Omega}_f; and the ~d/dt operator, which denotes Lagrangian time-differentiation in the inertial frame, must everywhere be replaced as follows:


\biggl[\frac{d}{dt} \biggr]_{inertial} \rightarrow \biggl[\frac{d}{dt} \biggr]_{rot} + {\vec{\Omega}}_f \times .

Performing this transformation implies, for example, that


\vec{v}_{inertial} = \vec{v}_{rot} + {\vec{\Omega}}_f \times \vec{x} ,

and,


\biggl[ \frac{d\vec{v}}{dt}\biggr]_{inertial} = \biggl[ \frac{d\vec{v}}{dt}\biggr]_{rot} + 2{\vec{\Omega}}_f \times {\vec{v}}_{rot} + {\vec{\Omega}}_f \times ({\vec{\Omega}}_f \times \vec{x})


= \biggl[ \frac{d\vec{v}}{dt}\biggr]_{rot} + 2{\vec{\Omega}}_f \times {\vec{v}}_{rot} - \frac{1}{2} \nabla \biggl[ |{\vec{\Omega}}_f \times \vec{x}|^2 \biggr]

(If we were to allow {\vec\Omega}_f to be a function of time, an additional term involving the time-derivative of {\vec\Omega}_f also would appear on the right-hand-side of these last expressions; see, for example, Eq.~1D-42 in BT87.) Note as well that the relationship between the fluid vorticity in the two frames is,


[\vec\zeta]_{inertial} = [\vec\zeta]_{rot} + 2{\vec\Omega}_f .


Continuity Equation (rotating frame)

Applying these transformations to the standard, inertial-frame representations of the continuity equation presented elsewhere, we obtain the:

Lagrangian Representation
of the Continuity Equation
as viewed from a Rotating Reference Frame

\biggl[ \frac{d\rho}{dt} \biggr]_{rot} + \rho \nabla \cdot {\vec{v}}_{rot} = 0 ;


Eulerian Representation
of the Continuity Equation
as viewed from a Rotating Reference Frame

\biggl[ \frac{\partial\rho}{\partial t} \biggr]_{rot} + \nabla \cdot (\rho {\vec{v}}_{rot}) = 0 .


Euler Equation (rotating frame)

Applying these transformations to the standard, inertial-frame representations of the Euler equation presented elsewhere, we obtain the:

Lagrangian Representation
of the Euler Equation
as viewed from a Rotating Reference Frame

\biggl[ \frac{d\vec{v}}{dt}\biggr]_{rot} = - \frac{1}{\rho} \nabla P - \nabla \Phi - 2{\vec{\Omega}}_f \times {\vec{v}}_{rot} - {\vec{\Omega}}_f \times ({\vec{\Omega}}_f \times \vec{x}) ;


Eulerian Representation
of the Euler Equation
as viewed from a Rotating Reference Frame

\biggl[\frac{\partial\vec{v}}{\partial t}\biggr]_{rot} + ({\vec{v}}_{rot}\cdot \nabla) {\vec{v}}_{rot}= - \frac{1}{\rho} \nabla P - \nabla \biggl[\Phi - \frac{1}{2}|{\vec{\Omega}}_f \times \vec{x}|^2 \biggr] - 2{\vec{\Omega}}_f \times {\vec{v}}_{rot}  ;


Euler Equation
written in terms of the Vorticity and
as viewed from a Rotating Reference Frame

\biggl[\frac{\partial\vec{v}}{\partial t}\biggr]_{rot} + ({\vec{\zeta}}_{rot}+2{\vec\Omega}_f) \times {\vec{v}}_{rot}= - \frac{1}{\rho} \nabla P - \nabla \biggl[\Phi + \frac{1}{2}v_{rot}^2 - \frac{1}{2}|{\vec{\Omega}}_f \times \vec{x}|^2 \biggr] .


Centrifugal and Coriolis Accelerations

Following along the lines of the discussion presented in Appendix 1.D, §3 of BT87, in a rotating reference frame the Lagrangian representation of the Euler equation may be written in the form,

\biggl[ \frac{d\vec{v}}{dt}\biggr]_{rot} = - \frac{1}{\rho} \nabla P - \nabla \Phi + {\vec{a}}_{fict} ,

where,


{\vec{a}}_{fict} \equiv - 2{\vec{\Omega}}_f \times {\vec{v}}_{rot} - {\vec{\Omega}}_f \times ({\vec{\Omega}}_f \times \vec{x}) .

So, as viewed from a rotating frame of reference, material moves as if it were subject to two fictitious accelerations which traditionally are referred to as the,

Coriolis Acceleration


{\vec{a}}_{Coriolis} \equiv - 2{\vec{\Omega}}_f \times {\vec{v}}_{rot} ,

(see the related Wikipedia discussion) and the

Centrifugal Acceleration


{\vec{a}}_{Centrifugal} \equiv - {\vec{\Omega}}_f \times ({\vec{\Omega}}_f \times \vec{x})
= \frac{1}{2} \nabla\biggl[ |{\vec{\Omega}}_f \times \vec{x}|^2  \biggr]

(see the related Wikipedia discussion).

Nonlinear Velocity Cross-Product

In some contexts — for example, our discussion of Riemann ellipsoids or the analysis by Korycansky & Papaloizou (1996) of nonaxisymmetric disk structures — it proves useful to isolate and analyze the term in the "vorticity formulation" of the Euler equation that involves a nonlinear cross-product of the rotating-frame velocity vector, namely,


\vec{A} \equiv ({\vec{\zeta}}_{rot}+2{\vec\Omega}_f) \times {\vec{v}}_{rot} .

NOTE: To simplify notation, for most of the remainder of this subsection we will drop the subscript "rot" on both the velocity and vorticity vectors.

Align {\vec\Omega}_f with z-axis

Without loss of generality we can set {\vec\Omega}_f = \hat{k}\Omega_f, that is, we can align the frame rotation axis with the z-axis of a Cartesian coordinate system. The Cartesian components of {\vec{A}} are then,


\hat{i}: ~~~~~~ A_x = \zeta_y v_z - (\zeta_z + 2\Omega) v_y  ,


\hat{j}: ~~~~~~ A_y = (\zeta_z + 2\Omega) v_x - \zeta_x v_z  ,


\hat{k}: ~~~~~~ A_z = \zeta_x v_y - \zeta_y v_x  ,

where it is understood that the three Cartesian components of the vorticity vector are,


\zeta_x = \biggl[\frac{\partial v_z}{\partial y} - \frac{\partial v_y}{\partial z} \biggr] ,
 ~~~~~~ \zeta_y = \biggl[ \frac{\partial v_x}{\partial z} - \frac{\partial v_z}{\partial x} \biggr] ,
 ~~~~~~ \zeta_z = \biggl[ \frac{\partial v_y}{\partial x} - \frac{\partial v_x}{\partial y} \biggr] .

In turn, the curl of \vec{A} has the following three Cartesian components:


\hat{i}: ~~~~~~ [\nabla\times\vec{A}]_x = \frac{\partial}{\partial y}\biggl[ \zeta_x v_y - \zeta_y v_x \biggr] - \frac{\partial}{\partial z}\biggl[ (\zeta_z + 2\Omega) v_x - \zeta_x v_z \biggr],


\hat{j}: ~~~~~~ [\nabla\times\vec{A}]_y = \frac{\partial}{\partial z}\biggl[ \zeta_y v_z - (\zeta_z + 2\Omega) v_y \biggr] - \frac{\partial}{\partial x}\biggl[ \zeta_x v_y - \zeta_y v_x \biggr] ,


\hat{k}: ~~~~~~ [\nabla\times\vec{A}]_z = \frac{\partial}{\partial x}\biggl[ (\zeta_z + 2\Omega) v_x - \zeta_x v_z \biggr] - \frac{\partial}{\partial y}\biggl[ \zeta_y v_z - (\zeta_z + 2\Omega) v_y \biggr] .

When vz = 0

If we restrict our discussion to configurations that exhibit only planar flows — that is, systems in which vz = 0 — then the Cartesian components of {\vec{A}} and \nabla\times\vec{A} simplify somewhat to give, respectively,


\hat{i}: ~~~~~~ A_x = - (\zeta_z + 2\Omega) v_y  ,


\hat{j}: ~~~~~~ A_y = (\zeta_z + 2\Omega) v_x  ,


\hat{k}: ~~~~~~ A_z = \zeta_x v_y - \zeta_y v_x  ,

and,


\hat{i}: ~~~~~~ [\nabla\times\vec{A}]_x = \frac{\partial}{\partial y}\biggl[ \zeta_x v_y - \zeta_y v_x \biggr] - \frac{\partial}{\partial z}\biggl[ (\zeta_z + 2\Omega) v_x \biggr],


\hat{j}: ~~~~~~ [\nabla\times\vec{A}]_y = - \frac{\partial}{\partial z}\biggl[(\zeta_z + 2\Omega) v_y \biggr] - \frac{\partial}{\partial x}\biggl[ \zeta_x v_y - \zeta_y v_x \biggr] ,


\hat{k}: ~~~~~~ [\nabla\times\vec{A}]_z = \frac{\partial}{\partial x}\biggl[ (\zeta_z + 2\Omega) v_x  \biggr] + \frac{\partial}{\partial y}\biggl[ (\zeta_z + 2\Omega) v_y \biggr] ,

where, in this case, the three Cartesian components of the vorticity vector are,


\zeta_x = - \frac{\partial v_y}{\partial z} ,
 ~~~~~~ \zeta_y = \frac{\partial v_x}{\partial z} ,
 ~~~~~~ \zeta_z = \biggl[ \frac{\partial v_y}{\partial x} - \frac{\partial v_x}{\partial y} \biggr] .


Related Discussions


Whitworth's (1981) Isothermal Free-Energy Surface

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