Entropy production in a fluid-solid system far from thermodynamic equilibrium

Bong Jae Chung, Blas Ortega, Ashwin Vaidya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Abstract.: The terminal orientation of a rigid body in a moving fluid is an example of a dissipative system, out of thermodynamic equilibrium and therefore a perfect testing ground for the validity of the maximum entropy production principle (MaxEP). Thus far, dynamical equations alone have been employed in studying the equilibrium states in fluid-solid interactions, but these are far too complex and become analytically intractable when inertial effects come into play. At that stage, our only recourse is to rely on numerical techniques which can be computationally expensive. In our past work, we have shown that the MaxEP is a reliable tool to help predict orientational equilibrium states of highly symmetric bodies such as cylinders, spheroids and toroidal bodies. The MaxEP correctly helps choose the stable equilibrium in these cases when the system is slightly out of thermodynamic equilibrium. In the current paper, we expand our analysis to examine i) bodies with fewer symmetries than previously reported, for instance, a half-ellipse and ii) when the system is far from thermodynamic equilibrium. Using two-dimensional numerical studies at Reynolds numbers ranging between 0 and 14, we examine the validity of the MaxEP. Our analysis of flow past a half-ellipse shows that overall the MaxEP is a good predictor of the equilibrium states but, in the special case of the half-ellipse with aspect ratio much greater than unity, the MaxEP is replaced by the Min-MaxEP, at higher Reynolds numbers when inertial effects come into play. Experiments in sedimentation tanks and with hinged bodies in a flow tank confirm these calculations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105
JournalEuropean Physical Journal E
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • Topical issue: Non-equilibrium processes in multicomponent and multiphase media


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