Novel sound phenomena in superfluid helium in aerogel and other impure superfluids

Peter Brusov, Paul Brusov, Gavin Lawes, Chong Lee, Akira Matsubara, Osamu Ishikawa, Pinaki Majumdar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


During the last decade new techniques for producing impure superfluids with unique properties have been developed. This new class of systems includes superfluid helium confined to aerogel, Hell with different impurities (D-2, N-2, Ne, Kr), superfluids in Vycor glasses, and watergel. These systems exhibit very unusual properties including unexpected acoustic features. We discuss the sound properties of these systems and show that sound phenomena in impure superfluids are modified from those in pure superfluids. We calculate the coupling between temperature and pressure oscillations for impure superfluids and for superfluid He in aerogel. We show that the coupling between these two sound modes is governed either by cpartial derivativep/partial derivativec or sigmarho(a)rho(s) (for aerogel) rather than thermal expansion coefficient partial derivativerho/partial derivativeT, which is enormously small in pure superfluids. This replacement plays a fundamental role in all sound phenomena in impure superfluids. It enhances the coupling between the two sound modes that leads to the existence of such phenomena as the slow mode and heat pulse propagation with the velocity of first sound observed in superfluids in aerogel. This means that it is possible to observe in impure superfluids such unusual sound phenomena as slow pressure (density) waves and fast temperature (entropy) waves. The enhancement of the coupling between the two sound modes decreases the threshold values for nonlinear processes as compared to pure superfluids. Sound conversion, which has been observed in pure superfluids only by shock waves should be observed at moderate sound amplitude in impure superfluids. Cerenkov emission of second sound by first sound (which never been observed in pure superfluids) could be observed in impure superfluids.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-321
Number of pages11
JournalPhysics Letters A
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2003


  • superfluids
  • sound properties
  • density
  • entropy


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