Date of Award

Spring 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mathematics & Statistics


Computational and Applied Mathematics

Committee Director

Ruhai Zhou

Committee Member

Richard Gregory

Committee Member

Fang Hu

Committee Member

Hideaki Kaneko

Committee Member

Gordon Melrose


An introduction to existing closure schemes for the Doi-Hess kinetic theory of liquid crystalline polymers is provided. A new closure scheme is devised based on a least squares fit of a linear combination of the Doi, Tsuji-Rey, Hinch-Leal I, and Hinch-Leal II closure schemes. The orientation tensor and rate-of-strain tensor are fit separately using data generated from the kinetic solution of the Smoluchowski equation. The known behavior of the kinetic solution and existing closure schemes at equilibrium is compared with that of the new closure scheme. The performance of the proposed closure scheme in simple shear flow for a variety of shear rates and nematic polymer concentrations is examined, along with that of the four selected existing closure schemes. The flow phase diagram for the proposed closure scheme under the conditions of shear flow is constructed and compared with that of the kinetic solution. The study of the closure scheme is extended to the simulation of nematic polymers in plane Couette cells. The results are compared with existing kinetic simulations for a Landau-deGennes mesoscopic model with the application of a parameterized closure approximation. The proposed closure scheme is shown to produce a reasonable approximation to the kinetic results in the case of simple shear flow and plane Couette flow


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