The mean-field limit for solid particles in a Navier-Stokes flow

Valeria Ricci, François Golse, Laurent Desvillettes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a mathematical derivation of Brinkman's force for a cloud of particles immersed in an incompressible viscous fluid. Specifically, we consider the Stokes or steady Navier-Stokes equations in a bounded domain Omega subset of R-3 for the velocity field u of an incompressible fluid with kinematic viscosity v and density 1. Brinkman's force consists of a source term 6 pi rvj where j is the current density of the particles, and of a friction term 6 pi vpu where rho is the number density of particles. These additional terms in the motion equation for the fluid are obtained from the Stokes or steady Navier-Stokes equations set in Omega minus the disjoint union of N balls of radius epsilon = 1/N in the large N limit with no-slip boundary condition. The number density p and current density j are obtained from the limiting phase space empirical measure 1/N Sigma(1 <= k <= N)delta(xk,vk), where x(k) is the center of the k-th hall and v(k) its instantaneous velocity. This can be seen as a generalization of Allaire's result in [Arch. Ration. Mech. Anal. 113:209-259, 1991] who considered the case of periodically distributed x(k)S with v(k) = 0, and our proof is based on slightly simpler though similar homogenization arguments. Similar equations are used for describing the fluid phase in various models for sprays.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-967
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Statistical Physics
Publication statusPublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics


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