Volume 83, Number 3, August 2008
Article Number 30001
Number of page(s) 5
Section General
Published online 27 June 2008
EPL, 83 (2008) 30001
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/83/30001

Anomalous distribution functions in sheared suspensions

J. Harting1, H. J. Herrmann2 and E. Ben-Naim3

1  Institute for Computational Physics - Pfaffenwaldring 27, D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany, EU
2  Computational Physics, IfB - Schafmattstr. 6, ETH Zürich, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland
3  Theoretical Division and Center for Nonlinear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA

received 16 May 2008; accepted in final form 16 June 2008; published August 2008
published online 27 June 2008

We investigate velocity probability distribution functions (PDF) of sheared hard-sphere suspensions. As observed in our Stokes flow simulations and explained by our single-particle theory, these PDFs can show pronounced deviations from a Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution. The PDFs are symmetric around zero velocity and show a Gaussian core and exponential tails over more than six orders of magnitude of probability. Following the excellent agreement of our theory and simulation data, we demonstrate that the distribution functions scale with the shear rate, the particle volume concentration, as well as the fluid viscosity.

02.50.Ey - Stochastic processes.
47.55.Kf - Particle-laden flows.
77.84.Nh - Liquids, emulsions, and suspensions; liquid crystals.

© EPLA 2008