We investigate the sedimentation of identical inertialess spherical particles in a Stokes fluid in the limit of many small particles. It is known that the presence of the particles leads to an increase of the effective viscosity of the suspension. By Einstein's formula this effect is of the order of the particle volume fraction ϕ. The disturbance of the fluid flow responsible for this increase of viscosity is very singular (like ). Nevertheless, for well-prepared initial configurations and , we show that the microscopic dynamics is approximated to order by a macroscopic coupled transport-Stokes system with an effective viscosity according to Einstein's formula. We provide quantitative estimates both for convergence of the densities in the p-Wasserstein distance for all p and for the fluid velocity in Lebesgue spaces in terms of the p-Wasserstein distance of the initial data. Our proof is based on approximations through the method of reflections and on a generalization of a classical result on convergence to mean-field limits in the infinite Wasserstein metric by Hauray.
Cite this article
Richard M. Höfer, Richard Schubert, The influence of Einstein's effective viscosity on sedimentation at very small particle volume fraction. Ann. Inst. H. Poincaré Anal. Non Linéaire 38 (2021), no. 6, pp. 1897–1927DOI 10.1016/J.ANIHPC.2021.02.001