Superfluid phase stability of 3He in axially anisotropic aerogel

J. Pollanen*, P. Davis, B. Reddy, R. Shirer, H. Choi, P. Halperin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Measurements of superfluid 3He in 98% aerogel demonstrate the existence of a metastable A-like phase and a stable B-like phase. It has been suggested that the relative stability of these two phases is controlled by anisotropic quasiparticle scattering in the aerogel. Anisotropic scattering produced by axial compression of the aerogel has been predicted to stabilize the axial state of superfluid 3He. To explore this possiblity, we used transverse acoustic impedance to map out the phase diagram of superfluid 3He in a ∼ 98% porous silica aerogel subjected to 17% axial compression. We have previously shown that axial anisotropy in aerogel leads to optical birefringence and that optical cross-polarization studies can be used to characterize such anisotropy. Consequently, we have performed optical cross-polarization experiments to verify the presence and uniformity of the axial anisotropy in our aerogel sample. We find that uniform axial anisotropy introduced by 17% compression does not stabilize the A-like phase. We also find an increase in the supercooling of the A-like phase at lower pressure, indicating a modification to B-like phase nucleation in globally anisotropic aerogels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number032084
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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