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Annihilation of an AB/BA interface pair in superfluid helium-3 as a simulation of cosmological brane interaction.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date28/08/2008
JournalPhilosophical Transactions A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Journal number1877
Volume366
Number of pages10
Pages2803-2812
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This study presents measurements of the transport of quasiparticle excitations in the B phase of superfluid He-3 at temperatures below 0.2Tc. We find that creating and then removing a layer of A-phase superfluid leads to a measurable increase in the thermal impedance of the background B phase. This increase must be due to the survival of defects created as the AB and BA interfaces on either side of the A-phase layer annihilate. We speculate that a new type of defect may have been formed. The highly ordered A B interface may be a good analogy for branes discussed in current cosmology. If so, these experiments may provide insight into how the annihilation of branes can lead to the formation of topological defects such as cosmic strings.