Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Quantum Effect called Superfluids

Superfluid: A liquid that has no viscosity and infinite thermal conductivity.

A superfluid appears to be a normal liquid but flows without friction past any surface allowing it to continue to circulate over obstructions and through pores in its container do only to its own inertia.

All of the atoms in a superfluid are in the same quantum state so they all have the same momentum such that if one moves they all move. This allows superfluids to move without friction even through the tiniest of cracks. Superfluid helium will flow up the sides of a jar and over the top.

In conclusion superfluity is a purely quantum effect that has no counter part in classical physics. It is one of two purely quantum effects that are seen on a macroscopic scale.

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