Phenomena

Superfluid Helium Leaks from its Container

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Below a temperature of 2.17 Kelvin, helium becomes a superfluid, a state of matter boasting several unique properties including zero viscosity (resistance to flow). In this video, scientists demonstrate that property. When they pull the glass “bucket” of helium out at 2:50, the helium starts to leak out. The glass is solid but it contains numerous tiny spaces between its atoms. In its normal state, the viscosity of helium prevents it from escaping through those holes. But as a superfluid, its resistance to flowing goes to zero and it leaks right through the solid glass.

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