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1 Notes on 1.63 Advanced Environmental Fluid Mechanics Instructor: C. C. Mei, 2001 ccmei@mit.

2.5

Stokes ow past a sphere

[Refs] Lamb: Hydrodynamics Acheson : Elementary Fluid Dynamics, p. 223 One of the fundamental results in low Reynolds hydrodynamics is the Stokes solution for steady ow past a small sphere. The apllicatiuon range widely form the determination of electron charges to the physics of aerosols. The continuity equation reads ~ q=0 (2.5.1) With inertia neglected, the approximate momentum equation is 0= p + 2 ~ q (2.5.2)

Physically, the presssure gradient drives the ow by overcoming viscous resistence, but does aect the uid inertia signicantly. Refering to Figure 2.5 for the spherical coordinate system (r, , ). Let the ambient velocity be upward and along the polar (z ) axis: (u, v, w) = (0, 0, W ). Axial symmetry demands = 0, and ~ q = (qr (r, ), q (r, ), 0) Eq. (2.5.1) becomes 1 2 1 q ) + (2.5.3) ( r (q sin ) = 0 r r2 r r As in the case of rectangular coordinates, we dene the stream function to satisify the continuity equation (2.5.3) identically 1 1 , q = (2.5.4) r2 sin r sin r At innity, the uniform velocity W along z axis can be decomposed into radial and polar components qr = qr = W cos = r2 1 , sin q = W sin = 1 , r sin r r (2.5.5)

o f x

r y

Figure 2.5.1: The spherical coordinates The corresponding stream function at innity follows by integration = Using the vector identity ( ~ q ) = ( ~ q ) 2 ~ q and (2.5.1), we get ~ 2 ~ q = ( ~ q ) = Taking the curl of (2.5.2) and using (2.5.8) we get ~) = 0 ( After some straightforward algebra given in the Appendix, we can show that ~ e ~ q = r sin and ~ =~ q = Now from (2.5.9) ~ e ( ~ q) = r sin
" !# ! !

W 2 2 r sin , 2

(2.5.6)

(2.5.7)

(2.5.8)

(2.5.9)

(2.5.10)

~ e r sin

~ e = r sin

2 sin + 2 r2 r

1 sin

!!

(2.5.11)

=0

3 hence, the momentum equation (2.5.9) becomes a scalar equation for .

sin 2 + 2 2 r r

1 sin

!!2

=0

(2.5.12)

The boundary conditions on the sphere are qr = 0 q = 0 on r = a The boundary conditions at is Let us try a solution of the form: (r, ) = f (r) sin2 then f is governed by the equi-dimensional dierential equation:
" #2

(2.5.13)

W 2 2 r sin 2

(2.5.14)

(2.5.15)

d2 2 2 2 dr r

f =0

(2.5.16)

whose solutions are of the form f (r) rn , It is easy to verify that n = 1, 1, 2, 4 so that f (r) = or
2

A + Br + Cr2 + Dr4 r

A + Br + Cr2 + Dr4 = sin r To satisfy (2.5.14) we set D = 0, C = W/2. To satisfy (2.5.13) we use (2.5.4) to get qr = 0 = W A B + 3 + = 0, 2 a a 1 A = W a3 , 4
"

q = 0 = W 3 B = Wa 4
#

A B + =0 a3 a

Hence Finally the stream function is

W 2 a3 3ar r + sin2 = 2 2r 2

(2.5.17)

Inside the parentheses, the rst term corresponds to the uniform ow, and the second term to the doublet; together they represent an inviscid ow past a sphere. The third term is called the Stokeslet, representing the viscous correction. The velocity components in the uid are: (cf. (2.5.4) : qr q a3 3a = W cos 1 + 3 2r 2r " # 3 a 3a = W sin 1 3 4r 4r
" #

(2.5.18) (2.5.19)

2.5.1

Physical Deductions

1. Streamlines: With respect to the the equator along = /2, cos and qr are odd while sin and q are even. Hence the streamlines (velocity vectors) are symmetric fore and aft. 2. Vorticity: 3 1 (rq ) 1 qr sin ~ = ~ e ~ e = W a 2 ~ e r r r 2 r 3. Pressure : From the r-component of momentum equation W a p = 3 cos (= ( ~ q )) r r Integrating with respect to r from r to , we get p = p 4. Stresses and strains: 3 W a cos 2 r3
!

(2.5.20)
!

1 qr 3a 3a3 err = = W cos 2 r 2r 2 2r 4 On the sphere, r = a, err = 0 hence rr = 0 and rr = p + rr = p + On the other hand er =r r

3 W cos 2 a

(2.5.21)

q 1 qr 3 W a3 = + sin r r 2 r4 (2.5.22)

Hence at r = a:

3 W sin 2 a The resultant stress on the sphere is parallel to the z axis. r = r = er = z = rr cos r sin = p cos + 3 W 2 a

The constant part exerts a net drag in z direction D=

Z
2

d sin z ==

3 W 4 a2 = 6 W a 2 a

(2.5.23)

This is the celebrated Stokes formula. A drag coecient can be dened as CD = D

1 W 2 a2 2

6 W a
1 W 2 a2 2

24
W (2a)

24 Red

(2.5.24)

5 5. Fall velocity of a particle through a uid. Equating the drag and the buoyant weight of the eparticle 4 3 a (s f )g 6 Wo a = 3 hence 2 a2 Wo = g 9 f in cgs units. For a sand grain in water, 2.5 1 = 1.5, = f 1 = 102 cm2 /s (2.5.25)
!

a2 = 217.8 f

Wo = 32, 670 a2 cm/s To have some quantitative ideas, let us consider two sand of two sizes : a = 102 cm = 104 m : Wo = 3.27cm/s; a = 103 cm = 105 = 10m, Wo = 0.0327cm/s = 117cm/hr For a water droplet in air, 1 = 3 = 103 , f 10 then Wo = (217.8)103 2 a 0.15 = 0.15 cm2 /sec

(2.5.26)

in cgs units. If a = 103 cm = 10m, then Wo = 1.452 cm/sec.

Details of derivation
Details of (2.5.10).
~ er 1 r = 2 r sin 0 ! ~ e r sin ~ e

~ e r sin

=~ er

1 2 r sin

~ e

1 r sin r

"

1 sin

!#