Falling Dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 as a Function of Respiratory Droplet Size and Human Height
Savas, Seckin Aydin
Aydin, Ismail Erkan
Evrendilek, Deniz Eren
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Purpose The purpose of this study is to quantify the motion dynamics of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Methods Three physical models of Newton's and Stokes's laws with(out) air resistance in the calm air are used to determine the falling time and velocity regimes of SARS-CoV-2 with(out) a respiratory water droplet of 1 to 2000 micrometers (mu m) in diameter of an infected person of 0.5 to 2.6 m in height. Results The horizontal distance travelled by SARS-CoV-2 in free fall from 1.7 m was 0.88 m due to breathing or talking and 2.94 m due to sneezing or coughing. According to Newton's laws of motion with air resistance, its falling velocity and time from 1.7 m were estimated at 3.95 x 10(-2)m s(-1)and 43 s, respectively. Large droplets > 100 mu m reached the ground from 1.7 m in less than 1.6 s, while the droplets >= 30 mu m fell within 4.42 s regardless of the human height. Based on Stokes's law, the falling time of the droplets encapsulating SARS-CoV-2 ranged from 4.26 x 10(-3)to 8.83 x 10(4) s as a function of the droplet size and height. Conclusion The spread dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic is closely coupled to the falling dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 for which Newton's and Stokes's laws appeared to be applicable mostly to the respiratory droplet size >= 237.5 mu m and <= 237.5 mu m, respectively. An approach still remains to be desired so as to better quantify the motion of the nano-scale objects.