Energy spectra of finite temperature superfluid helium-4 turbulence

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A mesoscopic model of finite temperature superfluid helium-4 based on coupled Langevin-Navier-Stokes dynamics is proposed. Drawing upon scaling arguments and available numerical results, a numerical method for designing well resolved, mesoscopic calculations of finite temperature superfluid turbulence is developed. The application of model and numerical method to the problem of fully developed turbulence decay in helium II, indicates that the spectral structure of normal-fluid and superfluid turbulence is significantly more complex than that of turbulence in simple-fluids. Analysis based on a forced flow of helium-4 at 1.3 K, where viscous dissipation in the normal-fluid is compensated by the Lundgren force, indicate three scaling regimes in the normal-fluid, that include the inertial, low wavenumber, Kolmogorov k?5/3 regime, a sub-turbulence, low Reynolds number, fluctuating k?2.2 regime, and an intermediate, viscous k?6 range that connects the two. The k?2.2 regime is due to normal-fluid forcing by superfluid vortices at high wavenumbers. There are also three scaling regimes in the superfluid, that include a k?3 range that corresponds to the growth of superfluid vortex instabilities due to mutual-friction action, and an adjacent, low wavenumber, k?5/3 regime that emerges during the termination of this growth, as superfluid vortices agglomerate between intense normal-fluid vorticity regions, and weakly polarized bundles are formed. There is also evidence of a high wavenumber k?1 range that corresponds to the probing of individual-vortex velocity fields. The Kelvin waves cascade (the main dynamical effect in zero temperature superfluids) appears to be damped at the intervortex space scale.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105105
Number of pages15
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number10
Early online date22 Oct 2014
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Oct 2014


  • rotating flows
  • Kelvin waves
  • Reynolds stress modeling
  • viscosity
  • superfluid flow

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