Mathematicians Coax Fluid Equations Into Nonphysical Solutions

"For nearly two centuries, all kinds of researchers interested in how fluids flow have turned to the Navier-Stokes equations. But mathematicians still harbor basic questions about them. Foremost among them: How well do the equations adhere to reality?

A new paper set to appear in the Annals of Mathematics has chipped away at that question, proving that a once-promising class of solutions can contain physics-defying contradictions. The advance is another step toward understanding the discrepancy between Navier-Stokes and the physical world —  a mystery that underlies one of math’s most famous open problems."

Read more at Quanta.