dc.description.abstract | In this thesis, we have tried to explain the regular and irregular(chaotic) dynamics of worm like micellar solutions on applying shear, through a detailed study of the equation of motion of a nematic order parameter tensor coupled to a hydrodynamic velocity field. We have assumed spatial variations only along one direction i.e. the gradient direction(1D model). The resulting phase diagram shows various interesting steady states or phases such as spatiotemporal chaos, temporal and spatiotemporal periodicities, and alignment of the director axis along the imposed flow field. The coupling of the orientational degrees of freedom of the order parameter with the hydrodynamic flow field holds the key to the appearance of dynamic shear bands in the system. We have solved numerically a set of coupled nonlinear equations to obtain the order parameter stress developed in the system; the magnitude of the order parameter tensor, the biaxiality parameter and the orientation of the director axis of the nemato gens under shear have also been studied in detail. To study the phase diagram obtained by time integration of the equation of motion mathematically, a stability analysis of the fixed point of motion for various parameter values has been performed so that the location of the chaotic-to-aligned phase boundary is verified. Also in the periodic region of the phase diagram, the stability of limit cycles is tested by analysing the fixed point of the corresponding Poincare map. Stability analysis of the periodic orbits leads to the observation that in the parameter space, there are regions of phase coexistence where chaotic or spatiotemporally intermittent behaviour coexists with periodic behaviour.
When corrections in the imposed velocity field due to the order parameter stress were taken into account and the order parameter response was looked into at several points in the parameter space, the modified equations of motion were found to reproduce the earlier behaviour in all the different regimes if the value of a dimensionless viscosity parameter is taken to be such that the bare viscous stress overrides the order parameter stress. The phase boundaries are however different from the ones seen in the earlier model. However, for a choice of the viscosity parameter such that the order parameter stress and the bare viscous stress are comparable, we see two distinctly different attractors: a banded, periodic one that is common to both α1equalto 0, and not equal to 0 and a banded chaotic one for α1not equal to 0. Here, α1is a parameter that governs the nonlinearity in the stretching of the order parameter tensor along the direction of the applied shear. Quantitative analysis of the various chaotic attractors throws up not only positive Lyapunov exponents but also that the banded chaos is a “flip-flop” kind of chaos where the switching between two long-lived states of high and lows hear stress is chaotic, where as the behaviour in either of the two states is periodic, with either a single, isolated frequency or a bunch of harmonics. Also, the spatial correlation of the shear stress in the chaotic attractors is of much larger range than the temporal correlation, the latter being almost delta-function-like. On increasing the temperature of the system till it is above the isotropic–nematic transition temperature in the absence of shear, we find that under shear, similar attractors as those in the nematic case are observed, both for passive advection and for the full 1D hydrodynamics. This is an encouraging result since actual experiments are performed at a temperature for which the system is in the isotropic phase in the absence of shear. Thus for the 1D system, the parameter space has been explored quite extensively.
Considering spatial variations only along the gradient axis of the system under shear is not enough since experiments have observed interesting behaviour in the vorticity plane in which Taylor velocity rolls were noted. Hence taking the system to 2D was necessary. Our numerical study of the 2D system under shear is incomplete because we came across computational difficulties. However, on shorter time scales we have seen a two-banded state with an oscillating interface and Taylor velocity rolls as well. The methodology used for the 2D study can also be used to reproduce the 1D results by the simple step of taking initial condition with no variation in the vorticity direction. This automatically ensures that no variation in the vorticity direction ever builds up because the equations of motion ensure that these variations in the system do not grow by themselves unless fed in at the start. Using this method, we were able to reproduce all the attractors found in the 1D calculation. Thus the 1D attractors have been observed using two different methods of calculation. Further work on the full 2D numerics needs to be done because we believe that spatiotemporally complex steady-state attractor s exist in the 2D system also for appropriate values of the parameters. | en_US |