Experiments in Fluids

, Volume 44, Issue 6, pp 887–896 | Cite as

Particles for tracing turbulent liquid helium

  • Gregory P. Bewley
  • K. R. Sreenivasan
  • Daniel P. Lathrop
Research Article


We address the problem of making quantitative measurements of local flow velocities in turbulent liquid helium, using tracer particles. We survey and evaluate presently available particles and previous work to establish the need to develop new particles for the purpose. We present the first practical solution for visualizing fluid motions using a suspension of solid hydrogen particles with diameters of about 2 μm. The hydrogen particles can be used to study flows with Taylor-microscale Reynolds numbers between 85 and 775. The particles can be used equally well with the PIV, LDV, or particle-tracking techniques.


Reynolds Number Particle Image Velocimetry Froude Number Liquid Helium Tracer Particle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of symbols


Hamaker’s constant


particle diameter


acceleration of gravity


Boltzmann’s constant


characteristic size of the large eddies


number of particles


number of particles per unit volume




characteristic velocity of the large eddies


local and instantaneous fluid velocity


total volume of the particles


total volume of the fluid


volume of laser sheet that is visible to the camera


particle velocity


density difference between particle and fluid


mean energy dissipation rate


volume fraction of particles in the fluid


dynamic viscosity of the fluid


kinematic viscosity of the fluid


mass density of the fluid


mass density of the particle



The National Science Foundation of the USA and NASA supported this work. We wish to thank Chris White for guidance, and Russ Donnelly, Joe Niemela, Steve Predko, and Joe Vinen for the cryostat.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory P. Bewley
    • 1
    • 2
  • K. R. Sreenivasan
    • 3
  • Daniel P. Lathrop
    • 2
  1. 1.Yale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  3. 3.International Centre for Theoretical PhysicsTriesteItaly

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