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The damping of a quartz tuning fork in superfluid He-3-B at low temperatures

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date12/2009
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Journal number5-6
Volume157
Number of pages26
Pages476-501
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We have measured the damping on a quartz tuning fork in the B-phase of superfluid He-3 at low temperatures, below 0.3T (c). We present extensive measurements of the velocity dependence and temperature dependence of the damping force. At the lowest temperatures the damping is dominated by intrinsic dissipation at low velocities. Above some critical velocity an extra temperature independent damping mechanism quickly dominates. At higher temperatures there is additional damping from thermal quasiparticle excitations. The thermal damping mechanism is found to be the same as that for a vibrating wire resonator; Andreev scattering of thermal quasiparticles from the superfluid back-flow leads to a very large damping force. At low velocities the thermal damping force varies linearly with velocity, but tends towards a constant at higher velocities. The thermal damping fits very well to a simple model developed for vibrating wire resonators. This is somewhat surprising, since the quasiparticle trajectories through the superfluid flow around the fork prongs are more complicated due to the relatively high frequency of motion. We also discuss the damping mechanism above the critical velocity and compare the behaviour with other vibrating structures in superfluid He-3-B and in superfluid He-4 at low temperatures. In superfluid He-4 the high velocity response is usually dominated by vortex production (quantum turbulence), however in superfluid He-3 the response may either be dominated by pair-breaking or by vortex production. In both cases the critical velocity in superfluid He-3-B is much smaller and the high velocity drag coefficient is much larger, compared to equivalent measurements in superfluid He-4.