Observation of Perfect Potential Flow in Superfluid

Phys. Rev. 108, 1109 – Published 1 December 1957
Paul P. Craig and John R. Pellam


The lift on an airfoil in a velocity field of perfect superfluid flow within liquid helium ii has been found to vanish for sufficiently low velocity. Thus the flow is pure potential flow with no circulation, and the viscosity boundary condition of zero velocity at the trailing edge (Kutta condition) which is normally introduced does not apply. We believe this to be the first illustration of absolutely perfect hydrodynamic flow, i.e., one in which the viscosity vanishes identically and therefore asserts no influence on the flow field.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRev.108.1109

  • Received 9 August 1957
  • Published in the issue dated December 1957

© 1957 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Paul P. Craig* and John R. Pellam

  • Norman Bridge Laboratory of Physics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California

  • *Portion of thesis comprising partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Ph.D. degree in physics at the California Institute of Technology.

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