When do microswimmers exit the Stokes regime

Pickl K, Köstler H, Pande J, Smith AS, Rüde U (2016)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Other publication type

Publication year: 2016

City/Town: arXiv publication

Article Number: 1603.04633

URI: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1603.04633v1.pdf

Open Access Link: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1603.04633v1.pdf


We compare fully-resolved, 3D lattice Boltzmann (LB) simulations of a three sphere microswimmer to analytical calculations, and show thereby that (i) LB simulations reproduce the motion very well in the Stokes regime, and (ii) the swimmer exits this regime at Reynolds numbers Re ∼ 10−2 , significantly lower than previously realised. Below this Re value Stokesian theory describes the motion accurately, but fails above it due to inertial effects. In the latter case, the swimmer’s relaxation matches that of an underdamped harmonic oscillator, and this specifies its effective hydrodynamic radius in a narrow Re range, as we show by calculating the radius analytically. The method can be used to determine the limit of the Stokes regime and the effective radius for a general mechanical microswimmer.

Authors with CRIS profile

How to cite


Pickl, K., Köstler, H., Pande, J., Smith, A.-S., & Rüde, U. (2016). When do microswimmers exit the Stokes regime. arXiv publication.


Pickl, Kristina, et al. When do microswimmers exit the Stokes regime. arXiv publication, 2016.

BibTeX: Download