Superfluid Helium is One Strange Liquid

By Anupum Pant

Helium can’t be frozen into a solid (at atmospheric pressure) – the very property which allows it to go from a simple liquid Helium state (warmer) at minus 269 degree C – where its boiling and evaporating quickly – to a much calmer Liquid Helium II stage (cooler).

Liquid Helium  II is obtained at a temperature lower than minus 269 degree C, at about minus 271 degree C Рknown as the Lambda point.

Liquid Helium II is a superfluid. Superfluid Helium has no viscosity. It behaves extraordinarily. As a summary of how extraordinary superfluid Helium is, here is a list of things it can do:

  • Superfluid¬†Helium will leak out of solid ceramic containers which have extremely tiny pores that no other liquid can penetrate.
  • If it is taken in a container and the container is spun around the central axis, the superfluid will not spin.
  • Somehow if you manage to spin it, because it has no friction, it won’t stop.
  • It can climb walls of a container by forming an extremely thin film and defying gravity.
  • It can produce an eternal frictionless fountain.
  • It can conduct electricity better than some of the best metal conductors like Copper! It’s a big thing for a liquid to be able to do that.

Here is a summary video you can watch below.

But, I’d suggest watching the whole documentary here. It explains everything that superfluid helium can do in nice detail. Also, the researcher makes sure it is in a very simple language…

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