Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Transition in swimming direction in a model self-propelled inertial swimmer
- Author(s): Dombrowski, Thomas
- Jones, Shannon K
- Katsikis, Georgios
- Bhalla, Amneet Pal Singh
- Griffith, Boyce E
- Klotsa, Daphne
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1103/physrevfluids.4.021101
We propose a reciprocal, self-propelled model swimmer at intermediate Reynolds numbers ($Re$). Our swimmer consists of two unequal spheres that oscillate in antiphase generating nonlinear steady streaming (SS) flows. We show computationally that the SS flows enable the swimmer to propel itself, and also switch direction as $Re$ increases. We quantify the transition in the swimming direction by collapsing our data on a critical $Re$ and show that the transition in swimming directions corresponds to the reversal of the SS flows. Based on our findings, we propose that SS can be an important physical mechanism for motility at intermediate $Re$.