, Volume 148, Issue 3-4, pp 235-243
Date: 30 May 2007

Vortex Rings in Superfluid 3He–B at Low Temperatures

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Abstract

Turbulence in classical fluids has far-reaching technological implications but is poorly understood. A better understanding might be gained from studying turbulence in quantum systems. In a pure superfluid (at low temperatures), there is no viscosity and vortex lines are quantised. Quantum turbulence consists of a tangle of quantised vortex lines which interact via their self-induced flow. We have recently developed techniques for detecting vortices in superfluid 3He–B in the low temperature limit. We find that the transition to turbulence from a moving grid occurs by the entanglement of emitted vortex rings. Here, we discuss the propagation of the ballistic vortex rings emitted at low grid velocities. We have measured the temperature at which the rings decay before reaching the detectors. Our results, at two different pressures, confirm that the vortex rings decay in accordance with mutual friction.