Transverse waves in superfluid3He-B

G. F. Moores*, James A Sauls

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


We examine the theory of collisionless transverse current waves in bulk superfluid3He-B, including the coupling to the order parameter collective modes. At low frequencies, Ω ≪ δ(T), the order parameter modes do not contribute to the restoring force for a transverse current, and the quasiparticle contribution drops rapidly as the gap in the spectrum develops. Thus, low-frequency transverse sound becomes overdamped at temperatures near T c . However, at low temperatures (T ≲0.3T c ) the off-resonant coupling to the J = 2-, M = +-1 modes stabilizes a propagating transverse current mode, with a large phase velocity and low damping for frequencies above a critical frequency that is approximately that of the J = 2 - mode. We also discuss the similarities and differences of longitudinal and transverse sound in the superfluid phases. For example, in zero field, right- and left-circularly polarized waves are degenerate. A magnetic field, with {Mathematical expression}, lifts this degeneracy, giving rise to the analog of circular dichroism and birefringence of electromagnetic waves. Thus, transverse waves may be more easily detected in the B-phase than in normal3He.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-37
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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