Defect formation in Quench-cooled superfluid phase transition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


  • V.M. Ruutu
  • V.B. Eltsov
  • M. Krusius
  • Yu.G. Makhlin
  • B. Plaçais
  • G.E. Volovik

Research units


We use neutron absorption in rotating 3He−B to heat locally a ∼100−μm−size volume into normal phase. When the heated region cools back in microseconds, vortex lines are formed. We record with NMR the number of lines vs the applied superflow velocity and compare to the Kibble-Zurek theory of vortex-loop freeze-out from a random network of defects. The measurements confirm the calculated loop-size distribution and indicate that the superfluid state itself forms as a patchwork of competing A− and B−phase blobs. The consequences to the A→B transition in supercooled 3He−A are discussed.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1465-1468
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1998
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • defect formation, phase transition

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