We study the steady terminal orientation of a fore-aft symmetric body as it settles in a viscous fluid. An optimal principle for the settling behavior is discussed based upon entropy production in the system, both in the Stokes limit and the case of near equilibrium states when inertial effects emerge. We show that in the Stokes limit, the entropy production in the system is zero allowing any possible terminal orientation while in the presence of inertia, the particle assumes a horizontal position which coincides with the state of maximum entropy production. Our results are seen to agree well with experimental observations.
- Entropy production
- Fluid-structure interaction