Citation
Thyagaraja, Anantanarayanan (1972) Compressible Flows at Small Reynolds Numbers. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/VVKAZS09. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechTHESIS:03292013152506285
Abstract
The problem of the slow viscous flow of a gas past a sphere is considered. The fluid cannot be treated incompressible in the limit when the Reynolds number Re, and the Mach number M, tend to zero in such a way that Re ~ o(M^2 ). In this case, the lowest order approximation to the steady NavierStokes equations of motion leads to a paradox discovered by Lagerstrom and Chester. This paradox is resolved within the framework of continuum mechanics using the classical slip condition and an iteration scheme that takes into account certain terms in the full NavierStokes equations that drop out in the approximation used by the above authors. It is found however that the drag predicted by the theory does not agree with R. A. Millikan's classic experiments on sphere drag.
The whole question of the applicability of the NavierStokes theory when the Knudsen number M/Re is not small is examined. A new slip condition is proposed. The idea that the NavierStokes equations coupled with this condition may adequately describe small Reynolds number flows when the Knudsen number is not too large is looked at in some detail. First, a general discussion of asymptotic solutions of the equations for all such flows is given. The theory is then applied to several concrete problems of fluid motion. The deductions from this theory appear to interpret and summarize the results of Millikan over a much wider range of Knudsen numbers (almost up to the free molecular or kinetic limit) than hitherto Believed possible by a purely continuum theory. Further experimental tests are suggested and certain interesting applications to the theory of dilute suspensions in gases are noted. Some of the questions raised in the main body of the work are explored further in the appendices.
Item Type:  Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.)) 

Subject Keywords:  (Applied Mathematics and Physics) 
Degree Grantor:  California Institute of Technology 
Division:  Engineering and Applied Science 
Major Option:  Applied Mathematics 
Minor Option:  Physics 
Thesis Availability:  Public (worldwide access) 
Research Advisor(s): 

Thesis Committee: 

Defense Date:  2 May 1972 
NonCaltech Author Email:  athyagaraja (AT) gmail.com 
Record Number:  CaltechTHESIS:03292013152506285 
Persistent URL:  https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechTHESIS:03292013152506285 
DOI:  10.7907/VVKAZS09 
Default Usage Policy:  No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided. 
ID Code:  7568 
Collection:  CaltechTHESIS 
Deposited By:  INVALID USER 
Deposited On:  29 Mar 2013 22:48 
Last Modified:  02 Jul 2024 22:01 
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