Shape-changing bodies in fluid: Hovering, ratcheting, and bursting

Saverio E. Spagnolie, Michael J. Shelley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Motivated by recent experiments on the hovering of passive bodies, we demonstrate how a simple shape-changing body can hover or ascend in an oscillating background flow. We study this ratcheting effect through numerical simulations of the two-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations at intermediate Reynolds number. This effect could describe a viable means of locomotion or transport in such environments as a tidal pool with wave-driven sloshing. We also consider the velocity burst achieved by a body through a rapid increase in its aspect ratio, which may contribute to the escape dynamics of such organisms as jellyfish.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number013103
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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