Shear flow and Kelvin-Helmholz instability in superfluids

Rob Blaauwgeers, Vladimir Eltsov, Georg Eska, Antti Finne, R.P. Haley, M. Krusius, Jaakko Ruohio, Ladislav Skrbek, G. E. Volovik

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    The first realization of instabilities in the shear flow between two superfluids is examined. The interface separating the A and B phases of superfluid 3He is magnetically stabilized. With uniform rotation we create a state with discontinuous tangential velocities at the interface, supported by the difference in quantized vorticity in the two phases. This state remains stable and nondissipative to high relative velocities, but finally undergoes an instability when an interfacial mode is excited and some vortices cross the phase boundary. The measured properties of the instability are consistent with the classic Kelvin-Helmholtz theory when modified for two-fluid hydrodynamics.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number155301
    Pages (from-to)1-4
    JournalPhysical Review Letters
    Issue number15
    Publication statusPublished - 2002
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • superfluid 3He, 4He
    • shear flow
    • A and B phase
    • qoantized vorticity


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