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Perspectives on the simulation of micro gas and nano liquid flows

Reese, Jason and Nicholls, William (2011) Perspectives on the simulation of micro gas and nano liquid flows. In: 9th ASME International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels and Minichannels, ICNMM2011, 2011-06-19 - 2011-06-22.

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    Micro- and nano-scale fluid systems can behave very differently from their macro-scale counterparts. Remarkably, there is no sufficiently accurate, computationally efficient, and — most importantly — generally agreed fluid dynamic model that encapsulates all of this important behaviour. The only thing that researchers can agree on is that the conventional Navier-Stokes fluid equations are unable to capture the unique complexity of these often locally non-thermodynamic-equilibrium flows. Here, we outline recent work on developing and exploring new models for these flows, highlighting, in particular, slip flow as a quintessential non-equilibrium (or sub-continuum) phenomenon. We describe the successes and failures of various hydrodynamic and molecular models in capturing the non-equilibrium flow physics in current test applications in micro and nano engineering, including the aerodynamic drag of a sphere in a rarefied gas, and the flow of water along carbon nanotubes.