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Point vortex dynamics: A classical mathematics playground
The idealization of a two-dimensional, ideal flow as a collection of point vortices embedded in otherwise irrotational flow yields a surprisingly large number of mathematical insights and connects to a large number of areas of classical mathematics. Several examples are given including the integrability of the three-vortex problem, the interplay of relative equilibria of identical vortices and the roots of certain polynomials, addition formulas for the cotangent and the Weierstrass zeta function, projective geometry, and other topics. The hope and intent of the article is to garner further participation in the exploration of this intriguing dynamical system from the mathematical physics community. (c) 2007 American Institute of Physics.