Sonic Limit Singularities in the Hodograph Method

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In the hodograph transformation, introduced to linerize the equations governing the two-dimensional inviscid potential flow of a compressible fluid, there may appear so-called limit-points and limit-lines at which the Jacobian J = ∂(x,y)/ ∂(q,θ) of the transformation vanishes. This thesis investigate these singularities when they occur at points or segments of arc of the sonic line (Mach number unity). Assuming the streamfunction to be regular in the hodograph variables, it is show that sonic limit points cannot be isolated but must lie on a supersonic limit line or form a sonic limit line [cf. H. Geiringer, Math. Zeitschr., 63, (1956), 514-524]. Using this dichotomy a classification of sonic limit points is set up and certain geometrical properties of the mapping in the neighborhood of the singularity are discussed. In particular the general sonic limit line is shown to be an equipotential and an isovel; an envelope of both families of characteristics; and the locus of cusps of the streamlines and the isoclines. Flows containing sonic limit lines may be constructed by forming suitable linear combinations of the Chaplygin product solutions for any value of the separation constant n ≥ 0. For n less than a certain value n0 and greater than zero (n = 0 corresponds to the well-known radial flow), these flows represent a compressible analogue of the incompressible corner flows and may be envisaged as taking place on a quadruply-sheeted surface. The sheets are joined at a super-sonic limit line and at the sonic limit line which has the shape of a hypocycloid (n >1), cycloid (n = 1), or epicycloid (n <1). To exemplify the general behavior, the flows are constructed explicitly for n = 1/2, 1, and 2. The shape of the sonic limit line is also discussed when solutions corresponding to different n are superposed, and it is shown how then the supersonic limit line can be eliminated so that an isolated sonic limit line is obtained. A flow containing such an isolated sonic limit line is presented. An appendix derives the asymptotic solution for large values of n which corresponds to the sonic limit solution. The above results have been published in part in Math. Zeitschr., 67, (1957), 229-237. Other portions of this thesis will appear in two papers in Archive Rational Mech. and Anal., 2, (1958).