Slippery questions about complex fluids flowing past solids

Steve Granick, Yingxi Zhu, Hyunjung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Viscous flow is familiar and useful, yet the underlying physics is surprisingly subtle and complex. Recent experiments an simulations show that the textbook assumption of 'no slip at the boundary' can fail greatly when walls are sufficiently smooth. The reasons for this seem to involve materials chemistry interactions that can be controlled-especially wettability and the presence of trace impurities, even of dissolved gases. To discover what boundary condition is appropriate for solving continuum equations requires investigation of microscopic particulars. Here, we draw attention to unresolved topics of investigation and to the potential to capitalize on 'slip at the wall' for purposes of materials engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-227
Number of pages7
JournalNature Materials
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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