Marsden Fund (Wellington) grant#UOO1726 (2018-2021), CI Dr Ashton Bradley, PIs Dr Tyler W Neely and Prof. Brian P Anderson (University of Arizona).
Fluid turbulence subtly shapes our daily existence — we are living in it. It also plays a dominant role in many applied settings including the design of air and water craft, and the prediction of extreme weather events. Yet fluid turbulence remains poorly understood, even though many of its features are universal, appearing in similar forms for a wide range of fluids, and on very different length scales.
In a flattened quantum fluid made of atomic Bose-Einstein condensate, turbulence is stripped down to its bare essentials: the chaotic interaction of tiny quantum whirlpools moving in only two dimensions. Bose-Einstein condensates also offer a promising pathways for studying turbulence due to their precise experimental control and clear theoretical description. While recent advances in manipulation and imaging enable new routes to creating and understanding turbulence in quantum fluids, fully-developed planar quantum turbulence has yet to be observed in nature. We will develop theoretical tools for making, probing, and understanding fully developed two-dimensional quantum turbulence, with close ties to experiments designed to realise these chaotic quantum states. The outcomes of this work will reveal generic features of fluid turbulence, and exotic behaviour unique to fluids obeying the principles of quantum mechanics.