Applied and Computational Mathematics Seminar
Monday, December 6, 2010 - 1:00pm
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Locomotion at the micro-scale is important in biology and in industrialapplications such as targeted drug delivery and micro-fluidics. Wepresent results on the optimal shape of a rigid body locomoting in 3-DStokes flow. The actuation consists of applying a fixed moment andconstraining the body to only move along the moment axis; this models theeffect of an external magnetic torque on an object made of magneticallysusceptible material. The shape of the object is parametrized by a 3-Dcenterline with a given cross-sectional shape. No a priori assumption ismade on the centerline. We show there exists a minimizer to the infinitedimensional optimization problem in a suitable infinite class ofadmissible shapes. We develop a variational (constrained) descent methodwhich is well-posed for the continuous and discrete versions of theproblem. Sensitivities of the cost and constraints are computedvariationally via shape differential calculus. Computations areaccomplished by a boundary integral method to solve the Stokes equations,and a finite element method to obtain descent directions for theoptimization algorithm. We show examples of locomotor shapes with andwithout different fixed payload/cargo shapes.