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Superfluid He-3 simulation of cosmic string creation in the early universe

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date01/1998
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Journal number1-2
Volume110
Number of pages10
Pages13-22
Original languageEnglish

Conference

ConferenceSymposium on Quantum Fluids and Solids (QFS 97)
CountryFrance
CityPARIS
Period21/07/9726/07/97

Abstract

We discuss the first experimental observations of a deficit in the thermal energy released after the exothermic neutron-He-3 nuclear reaction in superfluid He-3 at temperatures approaching 100 mu K. We propose that this deficit is associated with the creation of a vortex tangle as the liquid He-3 recrosses the superfluid transition. This process has many similarities with the theory of cosmic string creation during the GUT and electro weak transitions shortly after the Big Bang. Our measurements constitute the first quantitative test of defect creation via the cosmological Kibble mechanism for gauge symmetry breaking phase transitions and agree very well with the predictions of Zurek's scenario.