• Gerald D. Mahan
Part of the Physics of Solids and Liquids book series (PSLI)


Helium has two common isotopes, 3He and 4He. Each isotope can be separated and a liquid formed at low temperatures which is nearly pure 3He or pure 4He. Each has unusual properties and displays collective behavior of a unique character. The boson liquid 4He shows a phase transition at T λ = 2.172 K to a superfluid state which is similar to Bose—Einstein condensation, although vastly modified by the strong interparticle interactions Similarly, the fermion liquid 3He develops a Fermi distribution at low temperature, and the particles have a superfluid transition which is similar to the superconducting transition in a metal. Of course, now it is occurring in a liquid, of electrically neutral atoms, so there is no Meissner effect, but there is pairing. However, it also has a unique character, since the atoms avoid the usual singlet pairing common to metals and instead pair with the spins aligned parallel. The triplet pairing, in turn, leads to many new phenomena and a richer phase diagram, which was discovered by Osheroff et al. (1972). The third superfluid in this chapter is the two-dimensional electron gas under strong magnetic field, which shows the quantum Hall effect and the fractional quantum Hall effect. It is also a highly correlated fluid.


Landau Level Quantum Hall Effect Pair Distribution Function Ground State Wave Function Average Kinetic Energy 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald D. Mahan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  2. 2.Oak Ridge National LaboratoryUSA

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