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Vortex-impurity interactions is quantum fluids (PROMENTD_U21SCIOM)

School of Mathematics

Norwich United Kingdom Applied Mathematics Computational Physics Data Science Fluid Mechanics Mathematical Modelling Other Quantum Mechanics

About the Project

Quantum fluids, also called superfluids, arise at very low temperatures (superfluid liquid helium, gaseous Bose-Einstein condensates) or at very high densities (neutron stars) due to quantum mechanics. Such fluids possess striking properties like the absence of viscosity and quantised vortex circulation.  

This project aims at studying theoretically and numerically the interactions in a quantum fluid between quantum vortices and impurities, like external particles or other minor superfluid species. Several open questions regarding the mechanical properties of quantum vortices filled with impurities (for instance how they bend), how the impurities fill the quantum vortex core (for example finding their distribution, if they localise, how they mediate vortex reconnections), and their chaotic dynamics will be addressed. Answers will contribute to unveil the physics of amazing experiments currently performed in superfluid liquid helium (UK, US, France, Czech Republic) and Bose-Einstein condensates (Italy, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia). 

The research methodology will be inherently interdisciplinary involving physics (quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, nonlinear physics), applied mathematics (fluid mechanics, partial differential equations, integrable systems) and computer science (direct numerical simulations, large data analysis, parallel computing). Dr Proment and, more generally, the Quantum Fluids group at the University of East Anglia, have several ongoing international collaborations on this research topic involving both theoreticians and experimentalists and visits to possible collaborators will be strongly encouraged.  

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please go here  

This is a PhD programme. The start date is 1st October 2021. The mode of study is full time. The studentship length is 3 years. 

Entry requirements: due to the complexity of the project, a 1st or a Masters in Physics, Mathematics, Natural Science or Engineering is required. 

Funding Notes

Successful Home candidates who meet UKRI’s eligibility criteria will be awarded an EPSRC studentship in Mathematical Sciences covering fees, stipend (£15,285 pa) for 4 years. The eligibility requirements are detailed in UKRI Training Grant Guidance: View Website (see Annex B for criteria for classification as a Home student).

Applicants to this project will also be considered for a 3 year UEA funded studentship covering stipend (£15,285 pa), tuition fees (Home only). International applicants (EU/non-EU) are eligible for UEA funded studentships but required to fund the difference between Home and International tuition fees (which are detailed on the University’s fees pages View Website)


Dr Proment’s latest publications on this subject:
[1] Clustering and phase transitions in a 2D superfluid with immiscible active impurities, Giuriato, Krstulovic, and Proment, Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical 52, 305501 (2019)
[2] Starting Flow Past an Airfoil and its Acquired Lift in a Superfluid, Musser, Proment, Onorato, and Irvine, Physical Review Letters 123, 154502 (2019)
[3] Irreversible Dynamics of Vortex Reconnections in Quantum Fluids, Villois, Proment, and Krstulovic, Physical Review Letters 125, 164501 (2020)

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