Navigation Links
Scientists observe quantum vortices in cold helium droplets
Date:8/21/2014

An international research team including DESY scientists has observed tiny quantum vortices in cold droplets of liquid helium. The team reports in the journal Science that the exotic vortices arrange themselves as densely packed lattices inside the nanodroplets. It is the first time that the quantum vortices, which have already been observed in larger samples of what is known as superfluid helium, have been detected in nanodroplets. "The experiment has exceeded our best expectations," says Andrey Vilesov of the University of Southern California, one of the experiment's three leads.

The noble gas helium becomes liquid at minus 269 degrees Celsius. Below minus 271 degrees a quantum effect occurs, through which the liquid helium loses all internal friction and becomes superfluid. In this exotic state it can even crawl up walls. To explore the dynamics of superfluid helium, the scientists X-rayed tiny helium nanodroplets with what is currently the world's strongest X-ray laser, the Linac Coherent Light Source LCLS at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California.

The production of the cold droplets with an average of only 0.2 to 2 thousandths of a millimetre was no easy task. The scientists sprayed the liquid helium through a fine nozzle into a vacuum chamber. A portion of the helium evaporated on the way, and the remaining portion of the drop continued cooling due to evaporative cooling. "After a distance of few millimeters, the drops reached the superfluid state and were struck by the intense X-ray laser flash further downstream," explains DESY scientist Daniel Rolles of the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science CFEL, a joint facility run by DESY, the University of Hamburg and the Max-Planck Society.

An especially detailed recording of the X-ray scattering patterns of the nanodroplets was made possible using the CAMP experimental vacuum chamber, developed by a Max Planck Group in Hamburg at CFEL. "CAMP has two large detectors that can even register individual photons and can determine their energy very precisely," stresses Benjamin Erk of CFEL. "The detectors create a series of 120 images per second while doing so."

"The analyses of the images shows that a surprising number of drops were not spherical as expected, but were pulled length-wise by rapid rotation," says Rolles. "In fact, some drops possessed more of a shape resembling a thick wheel with two almost parallel sides." The rotation stems from the expansion of the liquid helium inside the nozzle, through which they enter the experimental chamber. The droplets rotated up to fourteen million times per second far faster than a normal round drop could withstand according to the laws of classical physics.

Due to the rapid rotation, tiny "quantum vortices" formed within the nanodroplets, reminiscent of a miniature whirlpool swirling around a bathtub drain. This phenomenon had already been observed in larger units of superfluid helium, but has just now been detected in nanodroplets for the first time. As observed earlier, the vortices form a regular lattice. "In nanodroplets, the quantum vortices are surprisingly 100,000 times more densely packed than in the larger samples of superfluid helium that were previously studied," says Vilesov.

"What we have observed in this experiment is really surprising," stresses co-lead Christopher Bostedt of SLAC. The experiment's third co-lead, Oliver Gessner from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, adds: "Now that we have shown that we can detect and characterize quantum rotation in helium nanodroplets, it will be important to understand its origin and, ultimately, to try and control it."


'/>"/>

Contact: Thomas Zoufal
presse@desy.de
49-408-998-1666
Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Scientists defuse the Vietnam time bomb
2. Singapore scientists lead human embryonic stem cell study
3. Sheffield scientists shine a light on the detection of bacterial infection
4. Nanowiggles: Scientists discover graphene nanomaterials with tunable functionality in electronics
5. Scientists solve mystery of colorful armchair nanotubes
6. iBioSeminars and iBioMagazine: Free, Online Biology Seminars and Short Talks by Leading Scientists
7. Chinese Scientists Zhen-Yi Wang and Zhu Chen Awarded 7th Annual Szent-Gyorgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research
8. Scientists decode brain waves to eavesdrop on what we hear
9. Receptos Scientists Publish Determination of a High Resolution Sphingosine 1-Phosphate Receptor 1 Structure in Science
10. Scientists learn how to out run damage with imaging technique
11. Design eye for the science guy: Drop-in clinic helps scientists communicate data
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2016)... , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... by Medistem Panama Inc. at the City of Knowledge in Panama, ... mesenchymal stem cells in the US earlier this year following FDA approval of ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... Oregon (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... Set features a variety of fracture-specific plating options designed to address fractures of ... industry-leading fracture fixation solutions. , The Acumed Ankle Plating System 3 is composed ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Lady had been battling arthritis since the age of two ... knee. Lady’s owner Hannah sought the help of Dr Jeff Christiansen of Superior ... cruciate ligament and help with the pain of Lady’s arthritis. Dr Christiansen suggested that ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... Media Cybernetics, global image analysis ... corporate branding reflects a results-driven revitalization for a company with a renewed focus ... include a crisp, refreshed logo and a new web presence. , “I believe ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:3/22/2016)... PUNE, India , March 22, 2016 ... new market research report "Electronic Sensors Market for ... Fingerprint, Proximity, & Others), Application (Communication & ... and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", ... consumer industry is expected to reach USD ...
(Date:3/21/2016)... , March 22, 2016 ... recognition with passcodes for superior security   ... a leading provider of secure digital communications services, today ... biometric technology and offer enterprise customers, particularly those in ... facial recognition and voice authentication within a mobile app, ...
(Date:3/17/2016)... , March 17, 2016 ABI Research, ... forecasts the global biometrics market will reach more ... 118% increase from 2015. Consumer electronics, particularly smartphones, ... fingerprint sensors anticipated to reach two billion shipments ... Dimitrios Pavlakis , Research Analyst at ABI ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):