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Angular dynamics of small crystals in viscous flow

Journal article
Authors Johan Fries
Jonas Einarsson
Bernhard Mehlig
Published in Physical Review Fluids
Volume 2
Issue 1
ISSN 2469-990X
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Language en
Keywords simple shear-flow, low-reynolds-number, nonspherical particles, ellipsoidal particles, motion, turbulence, rotation, microorganisms, fluid, Physics
Subject categories Physical Sciences


The angular dynamics of a very small ellipsoidal particle in a viscous flow decouples from its translational dynamics and the particle angular velocity is given by Jeffery's theory. It is known that cuboid particles share these properties. In the literature a special case is most frequently discussed, namely that of axisymmetric particles with a continuous rotation symmetry. Here we compute the angular dynamics of crystals that possess a discrete rotation symmetry and certain mirror symmetries but do not have a continuous rotation symmetry. We give examples of such particles that nevertheless obey Jeffery's theory. However, there are other examples where the angular dynamics is determined by a more general equation of motion.

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