Can aerosols be trapped in open flows?

Rafael D. Vilela*, Adilson E. Motter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The fate of aerosols in open flows is relevant in a variety of physical contexts. Previous results are consistent with the assumption that such finite-size particles always escape in open chaotic advection. Here we show that a different behavior is possible. We analyze the dynamics of aerosols both in the absence and presence of gravitational effects, and both when the dynamics of the fluid particles is hyperbolic and nonhyperbolic. Permanent trapping of aerosols much heavier than the advecting fluid is shown to occur in all these cases. This phenomenon is determined by the occurrence of multiple vortices in the flow and is predicted to happen for realistic particle-fluid density ratios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number264101
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number26
StatePublished - Dec 28 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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