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Ultracold Quantum Vortices are a Proof of Superfluidity

Credit: Ella Maru Studio 

By Amal Pushp, Affiliate Physicist at the Resonance Science Foundation 

A vortex is a physical phenomenon in fluid dynamics wherein flows in a region of a fluid revolve around a fixed axis. On the macroscopic level, vortices are easily observed as whirlpools, tornadoes, and smoke rings however, they also form on microscopic regimes as quantized objects. In the former case, classical laws completely govern the dynamics of vortices but in the latter, there is a deviation from classical to quantum behaviour since the temperature at which quantum fluids exist is low enough that the laws of quantum mechanics predominate. 

Vortices display dynamical motion and such vortices are also characterized by certain physical properties like mass, energy as well linear and angular momentum. Previous work has revealed multiple facets of vortices and their interactions in different physical conditions. Citing a few instances – physicists have...

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