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Appears in collection : Hadamard Lectures 2024 – Maria Colombo – Flows of Irregular Vector Fields in Fluid Dynamics

Given a vector field in the euclidean space, the classical Cauchy-Lipschitz theorem shows existence and uniqueness of its flow provided the vector field is sufficiently smooth. The theorem looses its validity as soon as the vector field is slightly less regular. However, in 1989, Di Perna and Lions introduced a generalized notion of flow, consisting of a suitable selection among the trajectories of the associated ODE, and they showed existence, uniqueness and stability for this notion of flow for much less regular vector fields. The course presents a modern view, new results and open problems in the context of flows of irregular vector fields. We develop, in this framework, recent ideas and techniques such as quantitative regularity estimates on the flow of Sobolev vector fields, nonuniqueness of solutions via convex integration, similarity constructions, mixing, enhanced and anomalous dissipation. Such ideas have been proved useful to study nonlinear PDEs as well and we apply these results and techniques in the context of the mathematical understanding of phenomena in fluid dynamics, in particular for the Euler and Navier-Stokes equations and in relation to the Kolmogorov theory of turbulence.

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