Inertial Coupling Method for particles in an incompressible fluctuating fluid

F. Balboa Usabiaga, R. Delgado-Buscalioni, B. E. Griffith, A. Donev
Departamento de Fisica Teorica de la Materia Condensada, Univeridad Autonoma de Madrid, Madrid 28049, Spain
arXiv:1212.6427 [cond-mat.soft], (27 Dec 2012)

   author={Balboa Usabiaga}, F. and {Delgado-Buscalioni}, R. and {Griffith}, B.~E. and {Donev}, A.},

   title={"{Inertial Coupling Method for particles in an incompressible fluctuating fluid}"},

   journal={ArXiv e-prints},




   keywords={Condensed Matter – Soft Condensed Matter},




   adsnote={Provided by the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System}


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We develop an inertial coupling method for modeling the dynamics of point-like "blob" particles immersed in an incompressible fluid, generalizing previous work for compressible fluids [F. Balboa Usabiaga, I. Pagonabarraga, and R. Delgado-Buscalioni, J. Comp. Phys., 235:701-722, 2013]. The coupling consistently includes excess (positive or negative) inertia of the particles relative to the displaced fluid, and accounts for thermal fluctuations in the fluid momentum equation. The coupling between the fluid and the blob is based on a noslip constraint equating the particle velocity with the local average of the fluid velocity, and conserves momentum and energy. We demonstrate that the formulation obeys a fluctuation-dissipation balance, owing to the non-dissipative nature of the no-slip coupling. We develop a spatio-temporal discretization that preserves, as best as possible, these properties of the continuum formulation. In the spatial discretization, the local averaging and spreading operations are accomplished using compact kernels commonly used in immersed boundary methods. We find that the special properties of these kernels make the discrete blob a particle with surprisingly physically-consistent volume, mass, and hydrodynamic properties. We develop a second-order semi-implicit temporal integrator that maintains discrete fluctuation-dissipation balance, and is not limited in stability by viscosity. Furthermore, the temporal scheme requires only constant-coefficient Poisson and Helmholtz linear solvers, enabling a very efficient and simple FFT-based implementation on GPUs. We numerically investigate the performance of the method on several standard test problems. In the deterministic setting, we find the blob to be a remarkably robust approximation to a rigid sphere, at both low and high Reynolds numbers. In the stochastic setting, we study in detail the short and long-time behavior of the velocity autocorrelation function and the mean square displacement of a freely diffusing particle. We find a surprising deviation from the standard Stokes-Einstein prediction at small Schmidt numbers, owing to a non-averaging of the fluctuating contributions to the particle mobility. The proposed inertial coupling method provides a low-cost coarse-grained (minimal resolution) model of particulate ows over a wide range of time-scales ranging from Brownian to convection-driven motion.
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