Rotational dynamics of a superhelix towed in a Stokes fluid

Sunghwan Jung, Kathleen Mareck, Lisa Fauci, Michael Shelley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Motivated by the intriguing motility of spirochetes (helically shaped bacteria that screw through viscous fluids due to the action of internal periplasmic flagella), we examine the fundamental fluid dynamics of superhelices translating and rotating in a Stokes fluid. A superhelical structure may be thought of as a helix whose axial centerline is not straight, but also a helix. We examine the particular case in which these two superimposed helices have different handedness, and employ a combination of experimental, analytic, and computational methods to determine the rotational velocity of superhelical bodies being towed through a very viscous fluid. We find that the direction and rate of the rotation of the body is a result of competition between the two superimposed helices; for small axial helix amplitude, the body dynamics is controlled by the short-pitched helix, while there is a crossover at larger amplitude to control by the axial helix. We find far better, and excellent, agreement of our experimental results with numerical computations based upon the method of Regularized Stokeslets than upon the predictions of classical resistive force theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103105
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Volume19
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2007

Fingerprint

helices
Fluids
fluids
Computational methods
Fluid dynamics
viscous fluids
Bacteria
handedness
translating
locomotion
screws
fluid dynamics
bacteria
crossovers
predictions
Direction compound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Jung, S., Mareck, K., Fauci, L., & Shelley, M. (2007). Rotational dynamics of a superhelix towed in a Stokes fluid. Physics of Fluids, 19(10), [103105]. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.2800287

Rotational dynamics of a superhelix towed in a Stokes fluid. / Jung, Sunghwan; Mareck, Kathleen; Fauci, Lisa; Shelley, Michael.

In: Physics of Fluids, Vol. 19, No. 10, 103105, 10.2007.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jung, S, Mareck, K, Fauci, L & Shelley, M 2007, 'Rotational dynamics of a superhelix towed in a Stokes fluid', Physics of Fluids, vol. 19, no. 10, 103105. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.2800287
Jung, Sunghwan ; Mareck, Kathleen ; Fauci, Lisa ; Shelley, Michael. / Rotational dynamics of a superhelix towed in a Stokes fluid. In: Physics of Fluids. 2007 ; Vol. 19, No. 10.
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