Title page for ETD etd-05042006-190812

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Sirk, Timothy
URN etd-05042006-190812
Title Numerical Simulation of Nanoscale Flow: A Molecular Dynamics Study of Drag
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Brown, Eugene F. Committee Chair
Cliff, Eugene M. Committee Member
Paul, Mark R. Committee Member
  • biosensor
  • sphere
  • drag
  • Nano
Date of Defense 2006-04-28
Availability unrestricted
The design of pathogen biosensors may soon incorporate beads having a nanoscale diameter, thus making the drag force on a nanoscale sphere an important engineering problem. Flows at this small of a scale begin to appear “grainy” and may not always behave as a continuous fluid. Molecular dynamics provides an approach to determine drag forces in those nanoscale flows which cannot be described with continuum (Navier-Stokes) theory.

This thesis uses a molecular dynamics approach to find the drag forces acting on a sphere and a wall under several different conditions. The results are compared with approximations from a Navier-Stokes treatment and found to be within an order of magnitude despite the uncertainties involved in both the atomic interactions of the molecular dynamics simulation and the appropriate boundary conditions in the Navier-Stokes solution.

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