## Abstract

We study Onsager's theory of large, coherent vortices in turbulent flows in the approximation of the point-vortex model for two-dimensional Euler hydrodynamics. In the limit of a large number of point vortices with the energy per pair of vortices held fixed, we prove that the entropy defined from the microcanonical distribution as a function of the (pair-specific) energy has its maximum at a finite value and thereafter decreases, yielding the negative-temperature states predicted by Onsager. We furthermore show that the equilibrium vorticity distribution maximizes an appropriate entropy functional subject to the constraint of fixed energy, and, under regularity assumptions, obeys the Joyce-Montgomery mean-field equation. We also prove that, under appropriate conditions, the vorticity distribution is the same as that for the canonical distribution, a form of equivalence of ensembles. We establish a large-fluctuation theory for the microcanonical distributions, which is based on a level-3 large-deviations theory for exchangeable distributions. We discuss some implications of that property for the ergodicity requirements to justify Onsager's theory, and also the theoretical foundations of a recent extension to continuous vorticity fields by R. Robert and J. Miller. Although the theory of two-dimensional vortices is of primary interest, our proofs actually apply to a very general class of mean-field models with long-range interactions in arbitrary dimensions.

Original language | English |
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Pages (from-to) | 833-886 |

Number of pages | 54 |

Journal | Journal of Statistical Physics |

Volume | 70 |

Issue number | 3-4 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Feb 1993 |

Externally published | Yes |

## Keywords

- Negative temperatures
- coherent vortices
- large deviations
- maximum entropy principle
- statistical mechanics approach to turbulence