Particle dispersion in isotropic turbulence under Stokes drag and Basset force with gravitational settling

Renwei Mei, Ronald J. Adrian, Thomas J. Hanratty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


An analysis that includes the effects of Basset and gravitational forces is presented for the dispersion of particles experiencing Stokes drag in isotropic turbulence. The fluid velocity correlation function evaluated on the particle trajectory is obtained by using the independence approximation and the assumption of Gaussian velocity distributions for both the fluid and the particle, formulated by Pismen & Nir (1978). The dynamic equation for particle motion with the Basset force is Fourier transformed to the frequency domain where it can be solved exactly. It is found that the Basset force has virtually no influence on the structure of the fluid velocity fluctuations seen by the particles or on particle diffusivities. It does, however, affect the motion of the particle by increasing (reducing) the intensities of particle turbulence for particles with larger (smaller) inertia. The crossing of trajectories associated with the gravitational force tends to enhance the effect of the Basset force on the particle turbulence. An ordering of the terms in the particle equation of motion shows that the solution is valid for high particle/fluid density ratios and to 0(1) in the Stokes number.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-495
Number of pages15
Journaljournal of fluid mechanics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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