Phenomenology of transition to quantum turbulence in flows of superfluid helium

Ladislav Skrbek, David Schmoranzer, Katepalli R. Sreenivasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transition from laminar to turbulent states of classical viscous fluids is complex and incompletely understood. Transition to quantum turbulence (QT), by which we mean the turbulent motion of quantum fluids such as helium II, whose physical properties depend on quantum physics in some crucial respects, is naturally more complex. This increased complexity arises from superfluidity, quantization of circulation, and, at finite temperatures below the critical, the two-fluid behavior. Transition to QT could involve, as an initial step, the transition of the classical component, or the intrinsic or extrinsic nucleation of quantized vortices in the superfluid component, or a simultaneous occurrence of both scenarios-and the subsequent interconnected evolution. In spite of the multiplicity of scenarios, aspects of transition to QT can be understood at a phenomenological level on the basis of some general principles, and compared meaningfully with transition in classical flows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2302256121
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 19 2024


  • flow instability
  • quantum turbulence
  • superfluidity
  • transition to turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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