On the sedimentation of a sphere in a centrifuge

Isom H. Herron*, Stephen H. Davis, Francis P. Bretherton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


The flow field about a small, slowly sedimenting particle in a centrifuge is examined using matched asymptotic expansions. The near field is dominated by Stokes flow while in the far field a non-axisymmetric cubical conical structure (a viscously modified Taylor column) is found. This far field induces a Coriolis modification in the near field leading to Coriolis corrections to the Stokes drag law. The Coriolis modification of the predicted molecular weight (if the particle were a molecule) of a small particle is calculated. The analysis is applied to an unbounded fluid as well as to a fluid bounded between parallel plates oriented normal to the rotation vector. In the latter case the governing equations for the rotating fluid are posed as a self-adjoint system of partial differential equations and solved using (symmetric) Green's matrices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-234
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of fluid Mechanics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 25 1975

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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