Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


College of Science and Mathematics


Mathematical Sciences

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Ashwin Vaidya

Committee Member

Bong Jae Chung

Committee Member

Diana Thomas


The terminal orientation of a rigid body is a classic example of a system out of thermodynamic equilibrium and a perfect testing ground for the validity of the maximum entropy production principle(MEPP). A freely falling body in a quiescent fluid generates fluid flow around the body resulting in dissipative losses. Thus far, dynamical equations have been employed in deriving the equilibrium states of such falling bodies, but they are far too complex and become analytically intractable when inertial effects come into play. At that stage, our only recourse is to rely on numerical techniques which can be computationally expensive. In the past, it has been shown that the MEPP is a reliable tool to help predict mechanical equilibrium states of free falling, highly symmetric bodies such as cylinders, spheroids and toroidal bodies. Physicists have been able to show that the MEPP correctly helps choose the stable equilibrium in cases when the system is slightly out of thermodynamic equilibrium. In this thesis, we expand our analysis to examine bodies with fewer symmetries than previously reported, for instance, a half-cylinder. Using two-dimensional numerical studies at Reynolds numbers substantially greater than zero, we examine the validity of the MEPP. Does the principle still hold up when a sedimenting body is no longer isotropic nor has three planes of symmetry? In addition, we also examine the relation between entropy production and dynamical quantities such as drag force to find possible qualitative relations between them.

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Mathematics Commons