The AB transition in superfluid 3He was studied in regions confined by microscopically smooth surfaces where the transition exhibited dramatic supercooling to lower temperatures than had previously been recorded. Placing a source of ionizing radiation near the cryostat reduced the lifetime of the metastable A-phase by more than 3 orders of magnitude, supporting Leggett's baked Alaska model. Additionally, the measured temperature and magnetic field dependences of the lifetime were consistent with the predictions of this model. Monte Carlo simulations of the interaction of radiation with our sample also support the model and allowed us to estimate the efficiency of radiation in nucleating the transition.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering