Relaxation of superfluid vortex bundles via energy transfer to the normal fluid

Demosthenes Kivotides*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


We apply numerical and computational analyses to the decay of a topologically nontrivial, bundle-structured superfluid vortex tangle via mutual friction effected energy transfer to an initially stationary, viscous normal fluid. We demonstrate that, as long as the coherent superfluid vorticity structures remain intact, the induced normal-fluid vorticity acquires a similar to the superfluid vorticity morphology, and the normal-fluid energy spectrum mimics the superfluid energy spectrum presenting a low-wavenumber scaling regime. After a (smaller than the integral advective time scale) transient, the superfluid vorticity bundles disintegrate; this is followed by the decay of normal-fluid energy. The kinetic energies of the two fluids are mismatched throughout the decay period, and the dismantling of coherent vorticity destroys the low-wavenumber energy spectrum scaling in both fluids. At the point of maximum normal-fluid energy, the circulation of the induced normal-fluid vortices is comparable to the “macroscopic” circulation of the superfluid vorticity bundles. We show that the superfluid dynamics are dominated throughout the decay period by inertial rather than mutual friction effects, that the formation of bundlelike coherent superfluid vortices cannot be the outcome of pure (reconnecting) Biot-Savart dynamics, and that superfluid vortex length dynamics are not analogous to superfluid energy dynamics. We conjecture that the dynamics of fully developed, turbulent thermal superfluid flow could be described in terms of interactions of cyclic coherent vorticity patterns in both fluids.
Original languageEnglish
Article number054503
Number of pages12
JournalPhysical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2007


  • superfluid vortex
  • energy transfer


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