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Hysteresis, switching and anomalous behaviour of a quartz tuning fork in superfluid 4He

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number1-2
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)379-384
Early online date1/10/13
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We have been studying the behaviour of commercial quartz tuning forks immersed in superfluid 4He and driven at resonance. For one of the forks we have observed hysteresis and switching between linear and non-linear damping regimes at temperatures below 10 mK. We associate linear damping with pure potential flow around the prongs of the fork, and non-linear damping with the production of vortex
lines in a turbulent regime. At appropriate prong velocities, we have observed
metastability of both the linear and the turbulent flow states, and a region of intermittency where the flow switched back and forth between each state. For the same fork, we have also observed anomalous behaviour in the linear regime, with large excursions in both damping, resonant frequency, and the tip velocity as a function of driving force.

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