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A Locally Corrected Multiblob Method with Hydrodynamically Matched Grids for the Stokes Mobility Problem

by   Anna Broms, et al.

Inexpensive numerical methods are key to enable simulations of systems of a large number of particles of different shapes in Stokes flow. Several approximate methods have been introduced for this purpose. We study the accuracy of the multiblob method for solving the Stokes mobility problem in free space, where the 3D geometry of a particle surface is discretised with spherical blobs and the pair-wise interaction between blobs is described by the RPY-tensor. The paper aims to investigate and improve on the magnitude of the error in the solution velocities of the Stokes mobility problem using a combination of two different techniques: an optimally chosen grid of blobs and a pair-correction inspired by Stokesian dynamics. Optimisation strategies to determine a grid with a certain number of blobs are presented with the aim of matching the hydrodynamic response of a single accurately described ideal particle, alone in the fluid. Small errors in this self-interaction are essential as they determine the basic error level in a system of well-separated particles. With a good match, reasonable accuracy can be obtained even with coarse blob-resolutions of the particle surfaces. The error in the self-interaction is however sensitive to the exact choice of grid parameters and simply hand-picking a suitable blob geometry can lead to errors several orders of magnitude larger in size. The pair-correction is local and cheap to apply, and reduces on the error for more closely interacting particles. Two different types of geometries are considered: spheres and axisymmetric rods with smooth caps. The error in solutions to mobility problems is quantified for particles of varying inter-particle distances for systems containing a few particles, comparing to an accurate solution based on a second kind BIE-formulation where the quadrature error is controlled by employing quadrature by expansion (QBX).


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