Faculty Advisor

Olson, Sarah D


We study the behavior of a Kirchhoff rod with intrinsic bend and twist immersed in a viscous, incompressible fluid at zero Reynolds number. A model developed by Sookkyung Lim on open free elastic rod was first analyzed and then extended to study the instability of a tethered elastic rod with a straight and helical configuration in various conditions. Then we explore the behavior of the rod in a loaded and unloaded condition prescribed with a time and spatially dependent curvature and twist. Numerical simulations are presented to show the results and insights gained into the instability of a Kirchhoff rod in Stokes flow. Results are discussed in connection with motion of filamentous structures in biological contexts.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2014


Mathematical Sciences

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mathematical Sciences

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