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We derive an effective equation of motion for the orientational dynamics of a neutrally buoyant spheroid suspended in a simple shear flow, valid for arbitrary particle aspect ratios and to linear order in the shear Reynolds number. We show how inertial effects lift the degeneracy of the Jeffery orbits and determine the stabilities of the log-rolling and tumbling orbits at infinitesimal shear Reynolds numbers. For prolate spheroids, we find stable tumbling in the shear plane and log-rolling is unstable. For oblate spheroids, by contrast, log-rolling is stable and tumbling is unstable provided that the particle is not too disk-like (moderate asphericity). For very flat oblate spheroids, both log-rolling and tumbling are stable, separated by an unstable limit cycle.


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