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Within density functional theory, the authors have investigated the coalescence dynamics of two superfluid helium nanodroplets hosting vortex lines in different relative orientations, which are drawn towards each other by the Van der Waals mutual attraction. The authors have found a rich phenomenology depending on how the vortex lines are oriented. In particular, when a vortex and antivortex lines are present in the merging droplets, a dark soliton develops at the droplet contact region, which eventually decays into vortex rings. Reconnection events are observed between the vortex lines or rings, leading to the creation of more vortices. The simulations show the interplay between vortex creation and reconnections, as well as the effect of the droplet surface which pins the vortex ends and, by reflecting short-wavelength excitations produced by the interactions between vortices, strongly affects the droplet final state. Additional vorticity is nucleated in the proximity of surface indentations produced in the course of the dynamics, which in turn interact with other vortices present in the droplets. These effects, obviously absent in the case of bulk liquid helium, show that the droplet surface may act as a multiplier of vortex reconnections. The analysis of the energy spectrum shows that vortex-antivortex ring annihilation, as well as vortex-antivortex reconnections, yields roton bursts of different intensity.
José María Escartín, Francesco Ancilotto, Manuel Barranco, and Martí Pi Phys. Rev. B 105, 024511
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