Nucleation of the ab transition in superfluid 3he: Experimental and theoretical considerations

P. Schiffer, D. D. Osheroff, A. J. Leggett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The A and B phases of superfluid 3He are generally believed to correspond to two p-wave BCS states known as the ABM and the BW states, respectively. This chapter describes the progress made in understanding the unique properties of AB transition. The primary conclusion that can be drawn from the Stanford experiments is ionizing radiation that leads to the nucleation of the B phase in superfluid 3helium (He). The nucleation rate increases by more than three orders of magnitude when the source is placed nearby. In the absence of radiation, the singularity known as a “boojum” potentially result in a B phase nucleation rate close to that observed experimentally in conventional cells. Lower pressure experiments have the advantage of shorter thermal relaxation times because of the higher thermal conductivity and lower heat capacity at lower pressures and because of the smaller temperature ranges through which the samples need to be cycled to “reset” the phase between runs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-211
Number of pages53
JournalProgress in Low Temperature Physics
Issue numberC
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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