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Flows of liquid 4He due to oscillating grids

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 October 2017

P. Švančara
Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, Ke Karlovu 3, 121 16 Prague, Czech Republic
M. La Mantia*
Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, Ke Karlovu 3, 121 16 Prague, Czech Republic
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We investigate cryogenic flows of liquid 4He between two grids oscillating in phase, at temperatures ranging from approximately 1.3 to 2.5 K, resulting in suitably defined Reynolds numbers up to $10^{5}$. We specifically study the flow-induced motions of small particles suspended in the fluid by using the particle tracking velocimetry technique. We focus on turbulent flows of superfluid 4He that occur below approximately 2.2 K and are known to display, in certain conditions, features different from those observed in flows of classical viscous fluids, such as water. We find that, at large enough length scales, larger than the mean distance between quantized vortices, representing the quantum length scale of the flow, the shapes of the velocity and velocity increment statistical distributions are very similar to those obtained in turbulent flows of viscous fluids. The experimental outcome strongly supports the view that, in the range of investigated parameters, particles probing flows of superfluid 4He behave as if they were tracking classical flows.

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