Description: In this technical report we investigate efficient methods for numerical simulation of active suspensions. The prototypical system is a suspension of swimming bacteria in a Newtonian fluid. Rheological and other macroscopic properties of such suspensions can differ dramatically from the same properties of the suspending fluid alone or of suspensions of similar but inactive particles. Elongated bacteria, such as E. coli or B. subtilis, swim along their principal axis, propelling themselves with the help of flagella, attached at the anterior of the organism and pushing it forward in the manner of a propeller. They interact hydrodynamically with the surrounding fluid and, because of their asymmetrical shape, have the propensity to align with the local flow. This, along with the dipolar nature of bacteria (the two forces a bacterium exerts on a fluid - one due to self-propulsion and the other opposing drag - have equal magnitude and point in opposite directions), causes nearby bacteria to tend to align, resulting in a intermittent local ordering on the mesoscopic scale, which is between the microscopic scale of an individual bacterium and the macroscopic scale of the suspension (e.g., its container). The local ordering is sometimes called a collective mode or collective swimming. Thanks to self-propulsion, collective modes inject momentum into the fluid in a coherent way. This enhances the local strain rate without changing the macroscopic stress applied at the boundary of the container. The macroscopic effective viscosity of the suspension is defined roughly as the ratio of the applied stress to the bulk strain rate. If local alignment and therefore local strain-rate enhancement, are significant, the effective viscosity can be appreciably lower than that of the corresponding passive suspension or even of the surrounding fluid alone. Indeed, a sevenfold decrease in the effective viscosity was observed in experiments with B. subtilis. ...
Date: January 20, 2012
Creator: Haines, B. M.; Berlyand, L. V.; Karpeev, D. A. (Mathematics and Computer Science) & (Department of Mathematics, Pennsylvania State Univ.)
Item Type: Refine your search to only Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department