Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New model describes avalanche behavior of superfluid helium

26.04.2007
By utilizing ideas developed in disparate fields, from earthquake dynamics to random-field magnets, researchers at the University of Illinois have constructed a model that describes the avalanche-like, phase-slip cascades in the superflow of helium.

Just as superconductors have no electrical resistance, superfluids have no viscosity, and can flow freely. Like superconductors, which can be used to measure extremely tiny magnetic fields, superfluids could create a new class of ultra-sensitive rotation sensors for use in precision guidance systems and other applications.

But, before new sensors can be built, scientists and engineers must first acquire a better understanding of the odd quirks of superfluids arising in these devices.

In the April 23 issue of Physical Review Letters, U. of I. physicist Paul Goldbart, graduate student David Pekker and postdoctoral research associate Roman Barankov describe a model they developed to explain some of those quirks, which were found in recent experiments conducted by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley.

In the Berkeley experiments, physicist Richard Packard and his students Yuki Sato and Emile Hoskinson explored the behavior of superfluid helium when forced to flow from one reservoir to another through an array of several thousand nano-apertures. Their intent was to amplify the feeble whistling sound of phase-slips associated with superfluid helium passing through a single nano-aperture by collecting the sound produced by all of the apertures acting in concert.

At low temperatures, this amplification turned out, however, to be surprisingly weak, because of an unanticipated loss of synchronicity among the apertures.

"Our model reproduces the key physical features of the Berkeley group's experiments, including a high-temperature synchronous regime, a low-temperature asynchronous regime, and a transition between the two," said Goldbart, who also is a researcher at the university's Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory.

The theoretical model developed by Pekker, Barankov and Goldbart balances a competition between interaction and disorder – two behaviors more commonly associated with magnetic materials and sliding tectonic plates.

The main components of the researchers' model are nano-apertures possessing different temperature-dependent critical flow velocities (the disorder), and inter-aperture coupling mediated by superflow in the reservoirs (the interactions).

For helium, the superfluid state begins at a temperature of 2.18 kelvins. Very close to that temperature, inter-pore coupling tends to cause neighbors of a nano-aperture that already has phase-slipped also to slip. This process may cascade, creating an avalanche of synchronously slipping phases that produces a loud whistle.

However, at roughly one-tenth of a kelvin colder, the differences between the nano-apertures dominate, and the phase-slips in the nano-apertures are asynchronous, yielding a non-avalanching regime. The loss of synchronized behavior weakens the whistle.

"In our model, competition between disorder in critical flow velocities and effective inter-aperture coupling leads to the emergence of rich collective dynamics, including a transition between avalanching and non-avalanching regimes of phase-slips," Goldbart said. "A key parameter is temperature. Small changes in temperature can lead to large changes in the number of phase-slipping nano-apertures involved in an avalanche."

James E. Kloeppel | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uiuc.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht One-way roads for spin currents
23.05.2018 | Singapore University of Technology and Design

nachricht Tunable diamond string may hold key to quantum memory
23.05.2018 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Space-like gravity weakens biochemical signals in muscle formation

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

NIST puts the optical microscope under the microscope to achieve atomic accuracy

23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>