Europhys. Lett.
Volume 73, Number 5, March 2006
Page(s) 733 - 739
Section Condensed matter: structural, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 02 February 2006
Europhys. Lett., 73 (5), pp. 733-739 (2006)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2005-10463-9

Physics of solid particles in thermal counterflow

D. Kivotides1, C. F. Barenghi1 and Y. A. Sergeev2

1  School of Mathematics, University of Newcastle Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK
2  School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering, University of Newcastle Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK

received 8 August 2005; accepted in final form 13 January 2006
published online 2 February 2006

The average properties of Lagrangian motion of test solid particles in helium II counterflow are analyzed. We consider the case where the flow of normal fluid is laminar and uniform, and the turbulence in the superfluid component manifests itself as a tangle of quantized vortices. The model employed in this paper has certain limitations: It assumes that particles do not disturb superfluid vortices and neglects the possibility of trapping particles by vortices. We estimate the time and length scales of the particle motion, and calculate the statistical properties of the particle motion as well as the statistical properties of superfluid turbulence along particle trajectories. We analyze the alignment between particle velocities and the superfluid velocity induced by the vortex tangle, and calculate the statistical properties of proximity between particles and quantized vortices. We expect these statistical properties to be important in the context of experimental PIV measurements in the thermal counterflow.

67.40.Vs - Vortices and turbulence.
47.55.Kf - Particle-laden flows.
47.37.+q - Hydrodynamic aspects of superfluidity; quantum fluids.

© EDP Sciences 2006