Thermodynamics of adiabatic melting of solid He 4 in liquid He 3

T. S. Riekki*, A. P. Sebedash, J. T. Tuoriniemi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
150 Downloads (Pure)


In the cooling concept by adiabatic melting, solid He4 is converted to liquid and mixed with He3 to produce cooling power directly in the liquid phase. This method overcomes the thermal boundary resistance that conventionally limits the lowest available temperatures in the helium fluids and hence makes it possible to reach for the temperatures significantly below 100μK. In this paper we focus on the thermodynamics of the melting process, and examine the factors affecting the lowest temperatures achievable. We show that the amount of He3-He4 mixture in the initial state, before the melting, can substantially lift the final temperature, as its normal Fermi fluid entropy will remain relatively large compared to the entropy of superfluid He3. We present the collection of formulas and parameters to work out the thermodynamics of the process at very low temperatures, study the heat capacity and entropy of the system with different liquid He3, mixture, and solid He4 contents, and use them to estimate the lowest temperatures achievable by the melting process, as well as compare our calculations to the experimental saturated He3-He4 mixture crystallization pressure data. Realistic expectations in the execution of the actual experiment are considered. Further, we study the cooling power of the process, and find the coefficient connecting the melting rate of solid He4 to the dilution rate of He3.

Original languageEnglish
Article number054502
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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