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Thomson Theorem about Circulation Constancy

Let's allocate closed contour

(see fig. 2.17) within frictionless liquid, which

movement can be considered as barotropic. The contour


consists of the same
liquid particles. Such liquid contour moves together with the liquid and changes
its shape together with the liquid.

AB

AB

Let's take arch


of finite size on the contour. Velocity circulation over arch
can be represented as (2.48)

Vxdx V ydy Vzdz

AB

Let's determine

d
dt

d d

dt dt

(3.62)

. Differentiating equation (3.62), we find

d
V
dx

V
dy

V
dz

x y z dt V xdx V ydy Vzdz

AB

AB

Carrying out the differentiation of the subintegral expression and taking into
account that the contour is liquid, we shall have

dV
dV
d
d
V x dx x dx V x dx x dx V x dV x
dt
dt
dt
dt

dV y
dV y
d
d
V y dy
dy V y dy
dy V y dV y
dt
dt
dt
dt

dV
dV
d
d
Vz dz z dz Vz dz z dz Vz dVz

dt
dt
dt
dt

Let's substitute the found values with derivatives under the integral:

dt

dVx

dV y
dV
dx
dy z dz V x dV x V y dV y Vz dVz

dt
dt
dt

AB

Expression in the last brackets represents itself

V 2
d
2

Considering that body forces have potential, and the liquid is barotropic,
we shall write down the Eulers equations (3.5) in the following form:
dU dP dVx

dx dx
dt
;
dU dP dV y

dy dy
dt
;
(3.63)
dU dP dVz

dz dz
dt
.
dV x dV y dVz
dt
dt
dt
Replacing the projections of the total acceleration
,
,
with their
values from the differential equations of motion (3.63), we shall have

dt

V 2
dU dP d


AB

or
d

dt

V 2
d U P
2

AB

from here

d
V 2
V 2
U P U P

dt
2
B
2
As the values in brackets, i.e.

U P
,

closed contour, i.e. when points

and

and

d
0
dt

or

(3.64)

, are single-valued functions, then for

coincide, the expression

const

Thus, the velocity circulation will not depend on time. This result received by
Thomson can be formulated in the form of the following theorem: the velocity

circulation over the closed contour, which passes through the same particles of
frictionless liquid does not change in time, with presence of the body forces
possessing the single-valued potential and barotropy.
It follows from the Thomson theorem, that if frictionless liquid starts moving from
quiesant state and is continuous, then the velocity circulation over arbitrary
closed contour within flow will be equal to zero because at the initial moment of
time it was equal to zero. Such flow, as follows from the Stokes theorem, will be
vortex-free, and the field of velocities will be potential.
Hence, the velocity circulation can appear in a flow of frictionless liquid under
condition of the potentiality of the body forces and presence of barotropy, as it
follows from equality (3.64) only when either function of pressure

r
V

, or flow

velocity
has a jump on some surfaces, and due to this reason the difference
(3.64) differs from zero.
Let's consider an arbitrary wing airfoil as an example. At the initial moment of
movement the liquid is motionless and the velocity circulation at this moment on
any closed contour drawn within liquid, is equal to zero, including the liquid

C0
contour

covering the airfoil (fig. 3.11,).

With the increasing of the movement the liquid flows, passing around the wing,
start to come down from its trailing edge. If the velocity of the flow coming down

C0
on this edge will have finite size and not equal to zero, then liquid contour
will start to stretch and drift into the flow by one part, as it is shown in fig.
3.11,b.

Fig. 3.11. Occurrence of the circulation around the wing airfoil:


a the liquid is motionless along the airfoil; b the liquid moves along the
airfoil

C0
Let's cut the stretched contour

at the airfoil trailing edge into two parts:

C1

contour
, covering the airfoil, and contour
, came down from the airfoil.
According to the theorem of velocity circulation change over the closed liquid
contour proved earlier we shall have during all time of movement

0 1 0

where

is the velocity circulation over contour


C1
circulation over contour
.

is the velocity

It follows from here, that at any moment of time

Thus, the velocity circulation over contour


, i.e. over the airfoil contour will
always be equal to the velocity circulation taken with the opposite sign over

1
contour
, came down from the airfoil to the flow after the beginning of the
movement.

C1
Let's notice, that the velocity circulation over contour
will differ from zero
only in case when tangent velocities have a jump on this contour when
transitioning one contour side to opposite one along the normal. Such jump of
tangent velocities behind the airfoil placed in frictionless liquid can be created if
the airfoil trailing edge is sharp. Then, with increasing of the movement, the
flows moving from below of the wing will approach to the aft edge with the
smaller velocity, rather than the flows moving from above, this is the reason of
jump of tangent velocities created at the junction of flows.

Increasing of circulation
on the airfoil will continue with the increasing
movement of the flow incoming the airfoil. The line of the jumps of velocities
created during this time is curling up into a spiral behind the airfoil. This vortex
spiral is carried away by the flow far from the airfoil, after that the motion near
the airfoil becomes steady.
When movement of the flow near the airfoil became steady, the lift will be
defined using circulation

according to the Zhukovsky theorem.

Let's notice in addition, that formation of vortexes behind the airfoil occurs not
only with appearance of the circulation on the airfoil , but also with its
disappearance, but in the last case the vortex of an opposite sign will be created
behind the airfoil.