Elementary vortex processes in thermal superfluid turbulence

Demosthenes Kivotides*, S. Louise Wilkin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


By solving pertinent mathematical models with numerical and computational methods, we analyze the formation of superfluid vorticity structures in a turbulent normal fluid with an inertial range exhibiting Kolmogorov scaling. We demonstrate that mutual friction forcing causes quantum vortex instabilities whose signature is spiral vortical configurations. The spirals expand until they accidentally meet metastable, intense normal fluid vorticity tubes of similar curvature and vorticity orientation that trap them by driving them towards low mutual friction sites where superfluid bundles are formed. The bundle formation sites are located within the tube cores, but, due to tube curvature and many-tube interaction effects, are displaced by variable distances from the tube centerlines as they follow the contours of the latter. We analyze possible implications of these processes in fully developed thermal superfluid turbulence dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-181
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number3-6
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2009


  • numerical computation
  • thermal superfluid turbulence
  • vortex dynamics


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