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Macroscopic quantum tunnelling of vortices in He II.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>15/02/1988
<mark>Journal</mark>Physical review letters
Issue number7
Number of pages4
Pages (from-to)604-607
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


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.