Suspension of superfluid helium using cesium-coated surfaces

Mark C. Williams, C. Giese, J W Halley

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12 Scopus citations


We report results of an experiment which demonstrates that a layer of superfluid helium can be suspended over a cesium-coated orifice. By measuring the layer thickness with a capacitance bridge, we have shown in two runs that fluid layers up to 2 mm thick were suspended over a 70-μm-diam cesium-coated orifice in a platinum foil for over 2 h in a cryostat held at 1.2 K. The effect depends on the recently established fact that superfluid helium does not wet cesium-coated surfaces. As a consequence, superfluid helium is expected to form a stable meniscus across such a cesium-coated hole. The observed depths of suspended helium are consistent with a simple theoretical model based on this picture. We briefly discuss the possible application of this method to the performance of a proposed experiment to study quantum coherence in superfluid helium by directing pulsed beams of helium atoms at such a suspended layer of fluid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6627-6633
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1996


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