Helium-3 is a rare isotope of helium that lacks one neutron. It becomes superfluid when
Previously it was believed that the speed of objectsmoving through superfluid helium-3 is fundamentally limited by the Landau superfluidity criterion, and that exceeding this velocity limit will lead to the destruction of the superfluid liquid. Previous experiments at Lancaster have shown that this is not a strict rule, and objects can move at much faster speeds without destroying the fragile superfluid state.
Now scientists at Lancaster University have found the reason for the lack of speed limit: exotic particles that stick to all surfaces in a superfluid liquid.
The discovery could aid in quantum computing, with several research groups already aiming to use these unusual particles.
To shake the bound particles, the researcherscooled superfluid helium-3 to one ten-thousandth of a degree from absolute zero (0.0001K or -273.15 ° C). They then pulled the wire through the superfluid at high speed and measured how much force was needed to move the wire. Apart from the extremely small force associated with the movement of the bound particles when the wire begins to move, the force measured was zero.
Lead author Dr. Samuli Autti stated: “Superfluid helium-3 feels like a vacuum to a rod moving through it, even though it's a relatively dense liquid. There is no resistance, not at all. I find it very intriguing. "
Among the explorers of Lancaster were SamuliAutti, Sean Ahlstrom, Richard Haley, Ash Jennings, George Pickett, Malcolm Poole, Roh Shanen, Victor Zepelin, Jakub Wonka, Tom Wilcox, Andrew Woods and Dmitry Zmeev.
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