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Macroscopic quantum tunnelling of vortices in He II.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date15/02/1988
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Journal number7
Volume60
Number of pages4
Pages604-607
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Experimental evidence is presented showing that the creation of vortices in He II involves macroscopic quantum tunneling through, or thermal activation over, a potential-energy barrier E. The investigations, based on measurements of the rate at which negative ions create vortex rings in the isotopically pure superfluid within the temperature range 50 < T < 500 mK, have yielded a barrier height of E/kB = 3.1 ± 0.1 K, in excellent agreement with the theoretical value predicted by Muirhead, Vinen, and Donnelly.