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Superfluid Boundary Layer

Lookup NU author(s): Dr George Stagg, Dr Nick Parker, Professor Carlo Barenghi



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


We model the superfluid flow of liquid helium over the rough surface of a wire (used to experimentally generate turbulence) profiled by atomic force microscopy. Numerical simulations of the Gross-Pitaevskii equation reveal that the sharpest features in the surface induce vortex nucleation both intrinsically (due to the raised local fluid velocity) and extrinsically (providing pinning sites to vortex lines aligned with the flow). Vortex interactions and reconnections contribute to form a dense turbulent layer of vortices with a nonclassical average velocity profile which continually sheds small vortex rings into the bulk. We characterize this layer for various imposed flows. As boundary layers conventionally arise from viscous forces, this result opens up new insight into the nature of superflows.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stagg GW, Parker NG, Barenghi CF

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Physical Review Letters

Year: 2017

Volume: 118

Print publication date: 31/03/2017

Online publication date: 28/03/2017

Acceptance date: 18/03/2017

Date deposited: 31/03/2017

ISSN (print): 0031-9007

ISSN (electronic): 1079-7114

Publisher: American Physical Society


DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.135301

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