Physicists from the University of Innsbruck, Austria, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Trento, Italy, have now proven the propagation of such a temperature wave in a quantum gas. The scientists have published their historic findings in the journal Nature.
The cigar-shaped particle cloud is locally heated with a power-modulated laser beam (green).
Below a critical temperature, certain fluids become superfluid and lose internal friction. In addition, fluids in this state conduct heat extremely efficiently, with energy transport occurring in a distinct temperature wave. Because of the similarities to a sound wave, this temperature wave is also called second sound. To explain the nature of superfluids, the famous physicist Lev Landau developed the theory of two-fluid hydrodynamics in Moscow in 1941.
He assumed that fluids at these low temperatures comprise a superfluid and a normal component, whereby the latter one gradually disappears with decreasing temperature. Until now superfluidity has experimentally been observed only in liquid helium and in ultracold quantum gases. Another example of a superfluid system is a neutron star, and evidence also been found in the atomic nucleus.
Superfluidity is closely connected to the technologically important superconductivity, the phenomenon of zero electrical resistance at very low temperatures.Observation of temperature waves
http://www.ultracold.at - Research group of Rudolf Grimm
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