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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Dynamics of small particles, passive and active, in complex fluids Datt, Charu


The focus of this thesis is on small non-Brownian particles in fluids that show deviations from standard Newtonian fluids. We study the motion of swimmers and sedimenting particles in Newtonian fluids with viscosity gradients, in shear-thinning fluids, and in fluids with viscoelasticity. The work is theoretical; its aim is to study the first effects of non-Newtonian rheology on particle motion and towards this end uses the reciprocal theorem of low Reynolds number hydrodynamics and methods of perturbation expansion. We find that the dynamics of the particles is often qualitatively changed due to the rheological properties of the fluid, and such changes are difficult to predict a priori.

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