The decay of a quantized vortex ring and the influence of tracer particles

Gregory P. Bewley, K. R. Sreenivasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We capture the decay of a quantized vortex ring in superfluid helium-4 by imaging particles trapped on the vortex core. The ring shrinks in time, providing direct evidence for the dissipation of energy in the superfluid. The ring with trapped particles collapses more slowly than predicted by an available theory, but the collapse rate can be predicted correctly if the trapping of the particles on the core is taken into account. We theoretically explore the conditions under which particles may be considered passive tracers of quantized vortices and estimate, in particular, that their dynamics on the large-scale is largely unaffected by the burden of trapped particles if the latter are spaced by more than ten particle diameters along the vortex core, at temperatures between 1.5 K and 2.1 K.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-94
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number3-6
StatePublished - 2009


  • Quantized vortex
  • Superfluid helium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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