The equation of motion of a small spherical particle moving in a fluid is solved numerically with the radius of the sphere and the ratio of fluid to particle densities being parameters. The Basset force term is computed and compared to the total force on the particle for the case of turbulent flow in a duct. It is found that the Basset force may be neglected in the equation of motion of the particle only when the fluid to particle density ratio is very high and the particle diameter is greater than 1 μm. A dimensional analysis is also performed for the case when the particle size and the characteristic flow dimension are of the same order of magnitude. In the latter case, it is deduced that the Basset force is significant whenever the flow Reynolds number is greater than one.

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