Title page for ETD etd-08202007-195746

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Fried, Jeremy
Author's Email Address jfried@vt.edu
URN etd-08202007-195746
Title Numerical Simulation of Viscous Flow: A Study of Molecular Dynamics and Computational Fluid Dynamics
Degree Master of Science
Department Electrical and Computer Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kachroo, Pushkin Committee Chair
Abbott, A. Lynn Committee Member
Lindner, Douglas K. Committee Member
  • Poiseuille flow
  • finite-difference
  • discretization
  • molecular dynamics
  • Navier-Stokes
  • computational fluid dynamics
Date of Defense 2007-08-07
Availability unrestricted
Molecular dynamics (MD) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) allowresearchers to study fluid dynamics from two very different standpoints. From a microscopic standpoint, molecular dynamics uses Newton's second law of motion to simulate the interatomic behavior of individual atoms, using statistical mechanics as a tool for analysis. In contrast, CFD describes the motion of a fluid from a macroscopic level using the transport of mass, momentum, and energy of a system as a model.

This thesis investigates both MD and CFD as a viable means of studying viscous flow on a nanometer scale. Specifically, we investigate a pressure-driven Poiseuille flow. The results of the MD simulations are processed using software we created to measure velocity, density, and pressure. The CFD simulations are run on numerical software that implements the MacCormack method for the Navier-Stokes equations. Additionally, the CFD simulations incorporate a local definition of viscosity, which is usually uncharacteristic of this simulation method. Based on the results of the simulations, we point out similarities and differences in the obtained steady-state solutions.

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