Role of inertia in nonequilibrium steady states of sheared binary fluids

Suzanne M. Fielding

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    We study numerically phase separation in a binary fluid subject to an applied shear flow in two dimensions, with full hydrodynamics. To do so, we introduce a mixed finite-differencing and spectral simulation technique, with a transformation to render trivial the implementation of Lees-Edwards sheared periodic boundary conditions. For systems with inertia, we reproduce the nonequilibrium steady states reported in a recent lattice Boltzmann study. The domain coarsening that would occur in zero shear is arrested by the applied shear flow, which restores a finite-domain-size set by the inverse shear rate. For inertialess systems, in contrast, we find no evidence of nonequilibrium steady states free of finite-size effects: Coarsening persists indefinitely until the typical domain size attains the system size, as in zero shear. We present an analytical argument that supports this observation and that furthermore provides a possible explanation for a hitherto puzzling property of the nonequilibrium steady states with inertia. © 2008 The American Physical Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number021504
    JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2008


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