Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers move closer to understanding chaotic motion of a solid body in a fluid

24.02.2010
In a paper appearing in the Feb. 24 issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London A, Virginia Tech Engineering Science and Mechanics Professor Hassan Aref, and his colleague Johan Roenby at the Technical University of Denmark shed new light on the chaotic motion of a solid body moving through a fluid.

They claim to have discovered two basic mechanisms that lead to chaotic motion of the body as it interacts with its vortex wake. The work may lead to better understanding and control of real body-vortex interactions.

Although it goes back to the work of Henri Poincaré at the end of the 19th century, chaos emerged in earnest as a new concept in science in the 1960s. Scientists then realized that even very simple systems, governed by perfectly deterministic laws, could have very complicated and seemingly random behavior. Anyone who has played with dice literally has had hands-on experience with the high sensitivity to initial conditions exhibited by a chaotic system. This makes long-term prediction of the system's evolution virtually impossible, Aref and Roenby explained.

It has long been known that the motion of a solid object through a fluid may be chaotic. Mechanisms that lead to chaotic motion in such systems are important, sometimes because one wants to avoid them, at other times because one wants to exploit them. For instance, when designing aircraft, one strives to prevent chaotic motion, whereas it might be a good strategy for a prey trying to escape a predator to enter a regime of erratic, unpredictable motion.

Fluid-body interactions are not very well understood. It is, however, reasonably well established that the delicate interplay between the body and the vortices shed from it, and present in the fluid, plays a key role. For example, it may be shown that if the motion is strictly two-dimensional and there are no vortices, chaos cannot occur. Chaos can occur for three-dimensional motion of a solid body through a fluid even in the absence of vortices.

To understand how vortices may create chaos in the body motion, Aref and Roenby studied a simplified body-vortex interaction model. The simplicity of the model allowed the scientists to take well-known, non-chaotic solutions as the starting point and then slowly increase the influence of parameters that would cause chaos to occur. It was by triggering the chaos in this controlled manner that the authors discovered two sources of chaos in the model.

The work "shows how a chaotic region grows from a specific type of equilibrium," the authors claimed. Aref and Roenby knew from classical hydrodynamics that a body in an "unbounded, ideal liquid has a limiting motion between the rocking and tumbling regime. Adding a vortex to this effectively acts as a random torque on the body." This is one mechanism for chaos. The other chaotic regime arises when the body is made slightly non-circular. For certain parameter regimes this renders the vortex motion, and thereby its force on the body, chaotic. "The kind of parametric scans we have performed may give important clues as to which geometries and parameter regimes to avoid, if one wants to prevent chaotic motion", the authors said.

As Aref, Roenby and others unravel the forces that come into play when vortices are produced through interaction between a solid body and the fluid surrounding it, they are furthering the understanding of aerodynamic and hydrodynamic forces, the drag and lift that are paramount in virtually all motion of bodies through air or water.

YouTube videos on the work can be found at http://www.youtube.com/user/JohanRoenbyPedersen

Aref is Virginia Tech's Reynolds Metals Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics. He also holds a Niels Bohr Visiting Professorship at the Technical University of Denmark. Roenby is a Ph.D. student in the mathematics department and the Center for Fluid Dynamics at the Danish University. He is currently a visiting scholar at Imperial College, London.

Virginia Tech's College of Engineering is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. As the nation's third largest producer of engineers with baccalaureate degrees, undergraduates benefit from an innovative curriculum that provides a hands-on, minds-on approach to engineering education. It complements classroom instruction with two unique design-and-build facilities and a strong Cooperative Education Program. With more than 50 research centers and numerous laboratories, the college offers its 2,000 graduate students opportunities in advanced fields of study, including biomedical engineering, state-of-the-art microelectronics, and nanotechnology.

Lynn Nystrom | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vt.edu
http://www.eng.vt.edu/main/index.php

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht New thruster design increases efficiency for future spaceflight
16.08.2017 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht Tracking a solar eruption through the solar system
16.08.2017 | American Geophysical Union

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

Im Focus: Scientists improve forecast of increasing hazard on Ecuadorian volcano

Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).

The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New thruster design increases efficiency for future spaceflight

16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Transporting spin: A graphene and boron nitride heterostructure creates large spin signals

16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

A new method for the 3-D printing of living tissues

16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>