Preferential rotation of chiral dipoles in isotropic turbulence

S. Kramel, G.A. Voth, S. Tympel, F. Toschi

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Particles in the shape of chiral dipoles show a preferential rotation in three dimensional homogeneous isotropic turbulence. A chiral dipole consists of a rod with two helices of opposite handedness, one at each end. We can use 3d printing to fabricate these particles with length in the inertial range and track their rotations in a turbulent flow between oscillating grids. High aspect ratio chiral dipoles will align with the extensional eigenvectors of the strain rate tensor and the helical ends will respond to the strain field by spinning around its long axis. The mean of the measured spinning rate is non-zero and reflects the average stretching the particles experience. We use Stokesian dynamics simulations of chiral dipoles in pure strain flow to quantify the dependence of spinning on particle shape. Based on the known response to pure strain, we build a model that gives the spinning rate of small chiral dipoles using Lagrangian velocity gradients from high resolution direct numerical simulations. The statistics of chiral dipole spinning determined with this model show surprisingly good agreement with the measured spinning of much larger chiral dipoles in the experiments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1602.07413
Number of pages5, e-Print Archive, Physics
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2016


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