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Quantum turbulence: from superfluid helium to atomic Bose-Einstein condensates

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This article reviews recent developments in quantum fluid dynamics and quantum turbulence (QT) for superfluid helium and atomic Bose-Einstein condensates. Quantum turbulence was discovered in superfluid 4He in the 1950s, but the field moved in a new direction starting around the mid-1990s. Quantum turbulence is comprised of quantised vortices that are definite topological defects arising from the order parameter appearing in Bose-Einstein condensation. Hence, QT is expected to yield a simpler model of turbulence than does conventional turbulence. A general introduction to this issue and a brief review of the basic concepts are followed by a description of vortex lattice formation in a rotating atomic Bose-Einstein condensate, typical of quantum fluid dynamics. Then we discuss recent developments in QT of superfluid helium such as the energy spectra and dissipative mechanisms at low temperatures, QT created by vibrating structures, and the visualisation of QT. As an application of these ideas, we end with a discussion of QT in atomic Bose-Einstein condensates.

Keywords: Bose-Einstein condensation; quantised vortex; quantum fluid dynamics; quantum turbulence; superfluid helium

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Physics, Osaka City University, Osaka, Japan

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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