Exact solutions are presented for the three-dimensional creeping motion of a sphere of arbitrary size and position between two plane parallel walls for the following conditions: (a) pure translation parallel to two stationary walls, (b) pure rotation about an axis parallel to the walls, (c) Couette flow past a rigidly held sphere induced by the motion of one of the boundaries and (d) two-dimensional Poiseuille flow past a rigidly held sphere in a channel. The combined analytic and numerical solution procedure is the first application for bounded flow of the three-dimensional boundary collocation theory developed in Ganatos, Pfeffer & Weinbaum (1978). The accuracy of the solution technique is tested by detailed comparison with the exact bipolar co-ordinate solutions of Goldman, Cox & Brenner (1967a, b) for the drag and torque on a sphere translating parallel to a single plane wall, rotating adjacent to the wall or in the presence of a shear field. In all cases, the converged collocation solutions are in perfect agreement with the exact solutions for all spacings tested. The new collocation solutions have also been used to test the accuracy of existing solutions for the motion of a sphere parallel to two walls using the method of reflexions technique. The first-order reflexion theory of Ho & Leal (1974) provides reasonable agreement with the present results for the drag when the sphere is five or more radii from both walls. At closer spacings first-order reflexion theory is highly inaccurate and predicts an erroneous direction for the torque on the sphere for a wide range of sphere positions. Comparison with the classical higher-order method of reflexions solutions of Faxen (1923) reveals that the convergence of the multiple reflexion series solution is poor when the sphere centre is less than two radii from either boundary.
Solutions have also been obtained for the fluid velocity field. These solutions show that, for certain wall spacings and particle positions, a separated region of closed streamlines forms adjacent to the sphere which reverses the direction of the torque acting on a translating sphere.