Amazing! The Liquid That Passes Through the Glass – El Hormiguero

Amazing! The Liquid That Passes Through the Glass - El Hormiguero - Post

IFIMAC researchers have collaborated with El Hormiguero to show in prime time of Spanish TV superfluid Helium.

Probably, the obtained shots are the most beautiful pictures taken of superfluidity in Helium.

The experiment shows the absence of Helium solidification due to quantum zero-point motion, the transition from the normal to superfluid with the concomitant onset of nearly infinite thermal conductivity close to the transition, and the flow through a superleak. The latter experiment consists of a beaker with a ceramic at the bottom that has ultrafine porosity. This container can hold any liquid, even liquid helium, which has small viscosity in the normal state. But when the helium becomes superfluid, the container leaks providing probably the most visual consequence of the quantum nature of our world.

Quantum behavior at a macroscopic scale governs much of the physics of so-called quantum materials, one of the main thrusts of IFIMAC.

The experiment was conducted by a team of the low temperature physics lab (headed by Isabel Guillamón and with the help of Edwin Herrera, Hermann Suderow, Jose María Castilla, and Rafael Álvarez Montoya). They brought two glass cryostats, one 15m3 balloon, compressors, diffusion pumps and a considerable amount of scientific equipment to the plateau. All equipment was home-built, at Segainvex. Further members of the low temperature team of the Condensed Matter Physics Department and of Segainvex also helped a lot in preparing the experiment and the infrastructure to bring liquid Helium and recover the evaporated gas.

El Hormiguero Science team put a lot of imagination and much work, many cameras, and all kinds of movie equipment, all focused into the quantum properties of matter at low temperatures. The experiment was presented to the invited cinema actor, Luis Zahera, by the Science presenter, Marron, and the head of the show, Pablo Motos.

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