Observation of Half-Quantum Vortices in Topological Superfluid 3He

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Research units

  • Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
  • Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics


One of the most sought-after objects in topological quantum-matter systems is a vortex carrying half a quantum of circulation. They were originally predicted to exist in superfluid He3−A but have never been resolved there. Here we report an observation of half-quantum vortices (HQVs) in the polar phase of superfluid He3. The vortices are created with rotation or by the Kibble-Zurek mechanism and identified based on their nuclear magnetic resonance signature. This discovery provides a pathway for studies of unpaired Majorana modes bound to the HQV cores in the polar-distorted A phase.


Original languageEnglish
Article number255301
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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