Regular Article - Soft Matter
Utilizing passive elements to break time reversibility at low Reynolds number: a swimmer with one activated element
School of Mechanical Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Narmak, Tehran, Iran
Accepted: 27 February 2023
Published online: 16 March 2023
In the realm of low Reynolds number, the shape-changing biological and artificial matters need to break time reversibility in the course of their strokes to achieve motility. This necessity is well described in the so-called scallop theorem. In this work, considering low Reynolds number, a novel and versatile swimmer is proposed as an example of a new scheme to break time reversibility kinematically and, in turn, produce net motion. The swimmer consists of one sphere as a cargo or carried body, joined by one activated link with time-varying length, to another perpendicular rigid link, as the support of two passively flapping disks, at its end. The disks are free to rotate between their fixed minimum and maximum angles. The system’s motion in two dimensions is simulated, and the maneuverability of the swimmer is discussed. The minimal operating parameters for steering of the swimmer are studied, and the limits of the swimmer are identified. The introduced swimming mechanism can be employed as a simple model system for biological living matters as well as artificial microswimmers.
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