Potato chip singularities of 3D flows

Diego Cordoba, Charles Fefferman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A "potato chip singularity" forms when two distinct surfaces moving with a three-dimensional (3D) fluid coincide at a finite time. Potato chip singularities were suggested by a numerical study of 3D ideal magnetohydrodynamics. We prove that an incompressible flow satisfying a mild assumption on velocity growth cannot form a potato chip singularity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)786-789
Number of pages4
JournalSIAM Journal on Mathematical Analysis
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analysis
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Incompressible flow
  • Magnetohydrodynamics
  • Potato chip
  • Singularity


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