Superfluid helium-3 in confined quarters

William P. Halperin, Jeevak M. Parpia, James A Sauls

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

11 Scopus citations


Liquid helium-3 and helium-4 are remarkable substances. They are quantum liquids, meaning that their behavior is governed by the laws of quantum mechanics. Because of their small atomic mass, each isotope exists in a liquid state down to the temperature of absolute zero. And at sufficiently low temperature, each becomes a superfluid. However, the two isotopes have very different properties because 3He is a fermion and 4He is a boson. As a result of their different statistics, superfluidity in 3He appears at a temperature one-thousandth of that at which superfluid 4He forms. A second difference is that 3He has multiple thermodynamic phases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages7
Specialist publicationPhysics Today
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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