Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Origins of radiometric forces on a circular vane with a temperature gradient


Radiometric force on a 0.12 m circular vane is studied experimentally and numerically over a wide range of pressures that cover the flow regimes from near free molecular to near continuum. In the experiment, the vane is resistively heated to about 419 K on one side and 394 K on the other side, and immersed in a rarefied argon gas. The radiometric force is then measured on a nano-Newton thrust stand in a 3 m vacuum chamber and compared with the present numerical predictions and analytical predictions proposed by various authors. The computational modelling is conducted with a kinetic approach based on the solution of ellipsoidal statistical Bhatnagar–Gross–Krook (ES-BGK) equation. Numerical modelling showed the importance of regions with elevated pressure observed near the edges of the vane for the radiometric force production. A simple empirical expression is proposed for the radiometric force as a function of pressure that is found to be in good agreement with the experimental data. The shear force on the lateral side of the vane was found to decrease the total radiometric force.

Corresponding author
Email address for correspondence:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

G. Benford & J. Benford 2005 An aero-spacecraft for the far upper atmosphere supported by microwaves. Acta Austonaut. 56, 529535.

P. L. Bhatnagar , E. P. Gross , M. Krook 1954 A model for collision processes in gases I: small amplitude processes in charged and neutral one-component systems. Phys. Rev. 94, 511525.

G. Binning , C. F. Quate & C. H. Gerber 1986 Atomic force microscope. Phys. Rev. Lett. 56, 930933.

W. Crookes 1874 On attraction and repulsion resulting from radiation. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 164, 501527.

A. Einstein 1924 Zur theorie der radiometrerkrafte. Zeitschrift fur Physik 27, 15.

F. Giessibl 2003 Advances in atomic force microscopy. Rev. Mod. Phys. 75 (3), 949983.

B. Gotsman & U. Durig 2005 Experimental observation of attractive and repulsive thermal forces on microcantilevers. Appl. Phys. Lett. 87, 194102.

P. Hinterdorfer & Y. F. Dufrne 2006 Detection and localization of single molecular recognition events using atomic force microscopy. Nat. Methods 3, 347355.

A. J. Jamison , A. D. Ketsdever & E. P. Muntz 2002 Gas dynamic calibration of a nano-Newton thrust stand. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 73 (10), 36293637.

H. E. Marsh 1926 Further experiments on the theory of the vane radiometer. J. Opt. Soc. Am. 12, 135148.

J. C. Maxwell 1879 On stresses in rarified gases arising from inequalities of temperature. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 170, 231256.

L. Mieussens 2000 Discrete-velocity models and numerical schemes for the Boltzmann–BGK equation in plane and axisymmetric geometries. J. Comput. Phys. 162 (2), 429466.

M. Ota , T. Nakao & M. Sakamoto 2001 Numerical simulation of molecular motion around laser microengine blades. Math. Comput. Simul. 55, 223230.

A. Passian , R. J. Warmack , T. L. Ferrell & T. Thundat 2003 Thermal transpiration at the microscale: a Crookes cantilever. Phys. Rev. Lett. 90 (12), 124503.

A. Passian , A. Wig , F. Meriaudeau , T. L. Ferrell & T. Thundat 2002 Knudsen forces on microcantilevers. J. Appl. Phys. 92 (10), 63266333.

S. C. Saxena & R. K. Joshi 1989 Thermal Accommodation and Adsorption Coefficients of Gases. Hemisphere Publishing.

M. Scandurra , F. Iacopetti & P. Colona 2007 Gas kinetic forces on thin plates in the presence of thermal gradients. Phys. Rev. E 75, 026308.

N. Selden , C. Ngalande , S. Gimelshein & A. Ketsdever 2007 Experimental and computational observation of radiometric forces on a plate. Paper 2007-4403. AIAA.

N. Selden C. Ngalande S. Gimelshein , E. P. Muntz , A. Alexeenko & A. Ketsdever 2009 Area and edge effects in radiometric forces. Phys. Rev. E 79, 041201.

P. G. Tait & J. Dewar 1875 Charcoal vacua. Nature 12, 217218.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Fluid Mechanics
  • ISSN: 0022-1120
  • EISSN: 1469-7645
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-fluid-mechanics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *