University of Oulu

Spin waves and supercritical motion in superfluid ³He

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Author: Laine, Sami1,2
Organizations: 1University of Oulu Graduate School
2University of Oulu, Faculty of Science, Physics
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 6.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Oulu : University of Oulu, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-06-14
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, for public discussion in the Auditorium L10, on June 28th, 2019, at 12 o’clock noon.
Tutor: Professor Erkki Thuneberg
Docent Jani Tuorila
Reviewer: Doctor Sungkit Yip
Professor Nils Schopohl
Opponent: Doctor Mikhail Silaev
Kustos: Professor Erkki Thuneberg


Helium is the second most abundant element in the Universe. It is the only known substance that can exist in liquid state at absolute zero. There are two stable isotopes of helium, fermionic ³He and bosonic ⁴He. At sufficiently low temperatures, both isotopes undergo a phase transition into a superfluid state. These superfluids are usually characterised by their ability to flow without resistance, but this is by no means their only remarkable property.

In this thesis, we study theoretically superfluid ³He. The work consists of two separate projects. First, we study the effect of a quantised vortex line to spin dynamics of the superfluid. We find that the interplay between the vortex and the magnetisation of the liquid generates spin waves, dissipating energy. We find that the theoretically predicted energy dissipation is in agreement with experimental data, implying that spin-wave radiation can be an important mechanism of magnetic relaxation in superfluid ³He.

Second, we study the drag force acting on an object moving through zero-temperature superfluid at a constant velocity. The drag arises if momentum is transferred from the object to the fluid. At low velocities, no such mechanism exist and thus the drag vanishes. If the velocity exceeds the Landau velocity \(v_L\), it becomes possible for the object to create quasiparticle excitations that could, in principle, transfer momentum away from the object. Thus, \(v_L\) has been generally assumed to be the critical velocity, that is, the velocity above which the drag force starts to increase rapidly towards the normal-state value. We find that this is not necessarily the case. Objects much larger than the superfluid coherence length modify the superfluid flow field around them. The spatial variation of the flow field can shield the object, preventing quasiparticles from transferring momentum away from the object. This leads to a critical velocity greater than \(v_L\).

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Osajulkaisut / Original papers

Osajulkaisut eivät sisälly väitöskirjan elektroniseen versioon / Original papers are not included in the electronic version of the dissertation.

  1. Laine, S. M., & Thuneberg, E. V. (2016). Calculation of Leggett–Takagi Relaxation in Vortices of Superfluid ³He-B. Journal of Low Temperature Physics, 183(3–4), 222–229.

  2. Kuorelahti, J. A., Laine, S. M., & Thuneberg, E. V. (2018). Models for supercritical motion in a superfluid Fermi liquid. Physical Review B, 98(14).

    Rinnakkaistallennettu versio / Self-archived version

  3. Laine, S. M., & Thuneberg, E. V. (2018). Spin-wave radiation from vortices in ³He−B. Physical Review B, 98(17).

    Rinnakkaistallennettu versio / Self-archived version

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Series: Report series in physical sciences
ISSN: 1239-4327
ISSN-L: 1239-4327
ISBN: 978-952-62-2293-6
ISBN Print: 978-952-62-2292-9
Issue: 127
Type of Publication: G5 Doctoral dissertation (articles)
Field of Science: 114 Physical sciences
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2019. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.