Observation of single-vortex pinning in superfluid 4He

E. Varoquaux*, O. Avenel, P. Hakonen, Yu Mukharsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Flow-induced pinning and unpinning of vortices have been investigated experimentally in superfluid 4He at temperatures varying from 14 to 44 mK. The lifetime and unpinning velocities of pinned vortices could be measured by following the apparent changes of the critical velocity for phase slips. The pinned vortex size and location can be deduced from the magnitude of these changes and are found, in these experiments, to be of nanometer size. The experimental observations indicate that unpinning takes place by quantum tunnelling and provide information on the phenomenon of superflow collapse in pinholes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-74
Number of pages20
JournalPhysica B: Condensed Matter
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1998
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Collapse
  • Pinning
  • Superfluid
  • Tunnelling
  • Vortex


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