In cellular vortical flows, namely arrays of counterrotating vortices, short but flexible filaments can show simple random walks through their stretch-coil interactions with flow stagnation points. Here, we study the dynamics of semirigid filaments long enough to broadly sample the vortical field. Using simulation, we find a surprising variety of long-time transport behavior - random walks, ballistic transport, and trapping - depending upon the filament's relative length and effective flexibility. Moreover, we find that filaments execute Lévy walks whose diffusion exponents generally decrease with increasing filament length, until transitioning to Brownian walks. Lyapunov exponents likewise increase with length. Even completely rigid filaments, whose dynamics is finite dimensional, show a surprising variety of transport states and chaos. Fast filament dispersal is related to an underlying geometry of "conveyor belts."Evidence for these various transport states is found in experiments using arrays of counterrotating rollers, immersed in a fluid and transporting a flexible ribbon.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)