Supercooling of the A phase of 3He

Y. Tian, D. Lotnyk, A. Eyal, K. Zhang, N. Zhelev, T. S. Abhilash, A. Chavez, E. N. Smith, M. Hindmarsh, J. Saunders, E. Mueller, J. M. Parpia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Because of the extreme purity, lack of disorder, and complex order parameter, the first-order superfluid 3He A–B transition is the leading model system for first order transitions in the early universe. Here we report on the path dependence of the supercooling of the A phase over a wide range of pressures below 29.3 bar at nearly zero magnetic field. The A phase can be cooled significantly below the thermodynamic A–B transition temperature. While the extent of supercooling is highly reproducible, it depends strongly upon the cooling trajectory: The metastability of the A phase is enhanced by transiting through regions where the A phase is more stable. We provide evidence that some of the additional supercooling is due to the elimination of B phase nucleation precursors formed upon passage through the superfluid transition. A greater understanding of the physics is essential before 3He can be exploited to model transitions in the early universe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number148
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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