You are here

Minimal two-sphere model of the generation of fluid flow at low Reynolds numbers.

TitleMinimal two-sphere model of the generation of fluid flow at low Reynolds numbers.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsLeoni, M, Bassetti, B, Kotar, J, Cicuta, P, Cosentino Lagomarsino, M
JournalPhys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys
Volume81
Issue3 Pt 2
Pagination036304
Date Published2010 Mar
ISSN1550-2376
Abstract

Locomotion and generation of flow at low Reynolds number are subject to severe limitations due to the irrelevance of inertia: the "scallop theorem" requires that the system have at least two degrees of freedom, which move in non-reciprocal fashion, i.e. breaking time-reversal symmetry. We show here that a minimal model consisting of just two spheres driven by harmonic potentials is capable of generating flow. In this pump system the two degrees of freedom are the mean and relative positions of the two spheres. We have performed and compared analytical predictions, numerical simulation and experiments, showing that a time-reversible drive is sufficient to induce flow.

DOI10.1103/PhysRevE.81.036304
Alternate JournalPhys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys
PubMed ID20365851