Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Numerical simulations of particulate suspensions via a discretized Boltzmann equation. Part 1. Theoretical foundation

Anthony J. C.  Ladd a1
a1 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94550, USA

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A new and very general technique for simulating solid–fluid suspensions is described; its most important feature is that the computational cost scales linearly with the number of particles. The method combines Newtonian dynamics of the solid particles with a discretized Boltzmann equation for the fluid phase; the many-body hydrodynamic interactions are fully accounted for, both in the creeping-flow regime and at higher Reynolds numbers. Brownian motion of the solid particles arises spontaneously from stochastic fluctuations in the fluid stress tensor, rather than from random forces or displacements applied directly to the particles. In this paper, the theoretical foundations of the technique are laid out, illustrated by simple analytical and numerical examples; in a companion paper (Part 2), extensive numerical tests of the method, for stationary flows, time-dependent flows, and finite-Reynolds-number flows, are reported.

(Published Online April 26 2006)
(Received July 6 1993)
(Revised January 31 1994)