Friction and the continuum limit - Where is the boundary?

Yingxi Zhu, Steve Granick

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The no-slip boundary condition, believed to describe macroscopic flow of low-viscosity fluids, overestimates hydrodynamic forces starting at lengths corresponding to hundreds of molecular dimensions when water or tetradecane is placed between smooth nonwetting surfaces whose spacing varies dynamically. When hydrodynamic pressures exceed 0.1-1 atmospheres (this occurs at spacings that depend on the rate of spacing change), flow becomes easier than expected. Therefore solid-liquid surface interactions influence not just molecularly-thin confined liquids but also flow at larger length scales. This points the way to strategies for energy-saving during fluid transport and may be relevant to filtration, colloidal dynamics, and microfluidic devices, and shows a hitherto-unappreciated dependence of slip on velocity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)T4.2a.1-T4.2a.8
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
StatePublished - 2001
EventDynamics in Small Confining Systems V - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Nov 27 2000Nov 30 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Friction and the continuum limit - Where is the boundary?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this