Journal of Statistical Physics

, Volume 131, Issue 5, pp 941–967 | Cite as

The Mean-Field Limit for Solid Particles in a Navier-Stokes Flow

  • Laurent Desvillettes
  • François Golse
  • Valeria Ricci


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 Ω⊂ℝ3 for the velocity field u of an incompressible fluid with kinematic viscosity ν and density 1. Brinkman’s force consists of a source term 6π ν j where j is the current density of the particles, and of a friction term 6π ν ρ u where ρ 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 Ω minus the disjoint union of N balls of radius ε=1/N in the large N limit with no-slip boundary condition. The number density ρ and current density j are obtained from the limiting phase space empirical measure \(\frac{1}{N}\sum_{1\le k\le N}\delta_{x_{k},v_{k}}\) , where x k is the center of the k-th ball 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.


Stokes equations Navier-Stokes equations Homogenization Suspension flows 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laurent Desvillettes
    • 1
  • François Golse
    • 2
    • 3
  • Valeria Ricci
    • 4
  1. 1.ENS Cachan, CMLA, IUF & CNRSPRES UniverSudCachan CedexFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire J.-L. LionsUniversité Pierre-et-Marie CurieParis Cedex 05France
  3. 3.Centre de Mathématiques Laurent SchwartzEcole PolytechniquePalaiseau CedexFrance
  4. 4.Dipartimento di Metodi e Modelli MatematiciUniversità di PalermoPalermoItaly

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