Keele Physics Centre 2018-19 Lecture Series
Speaker: Prof. Richard Haley, Lancaster University
Title: Experimenting with Extreme Cold
Abstract: The pursuit of extreme cold is a never-ending quest towards the “infinity” of the absolute zero of temperature at a very chilly -273.15 degrees Celsius. The element helium plays a pivotal role in this conquest. Initially discovered as a mystery spectral line in the sun (“Helios”), it was later isolated on Earth as a rare gas and first liquefied just over 100 years ago, at 4 degrees above absolute zero. When cooled further by forced evaporation, rather than solidifying, a completely new state of matter appeared. The helium had undergone a phase transition from a regular liquid into one that flows without any friction: a “superfluid”. Nowadays experiments on the lighter isotope helium-3 at temperatures less than a millikelvin above absolute zero have revealed a range of exotic behaviours including quantum turbulence and the simulation of cosmological process in the early Universe.
Notes: Tea and coffee will be available in the Lennard Jones Foyer from 6.30p.m. Talks start at 7.30pm and are followed by Q&A. These talks, which are FREE to attend and open to the public, are sponsored by the West Midlands Branch of the IoP. There is ample car parking space on campus, which is free during the evening.
Contact Details: Scott Walker