Departmental Papers (MEAM)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:
Arratia, Paulo E. Troy Shinbrot, Mario M. Alvarez, Fernando J. Muzzio. (2005). Mixing of Non-Newtonian Fluids in Steadily Forced Sytems . Physical Review Letters. Vol. 94. Art. 084501.

Copyright 2005 American Physical Society. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.94.084501.

NOTE: At the time of publication, author Paulo E. Arratia was affiliated with Rutgers University - New Brunswick/Piscataway. Currently (as of July 2007), he is a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at the University of Pennsylvania.


We investigate mixing in a viscoelastic and shear-thinning fluid—a very common combination in polymers and suspensions. We find that competition between elastic and viscous forces generates self-similar mixing, lobe transport, and other characteristics of chaos. The mechanism by which chaos is produced is evaluated both in experiments and in a simple model. We find that chaotic flow is generated by spontaneous oscillations, the magnitude and frequency of which govern the extent of chaos and mixing.



Date Posted: 12 August 2010

This document has been peer reviewed.