In bulk superfluid 3 He at zero magnetic field, two phases emerge with the B-phase stable everywhere except at high pressures and temperatures, where the A-phase is favoured. Aerogels with nanostructure smaller than the superfluid coherence length are the only means to introduce disorder into the superfluid. Here we use a torsion pendulum to study 3 He confined in an extremely anisotropic, nematically ordered aerogel consisting of ∼410 nm-thick alumina strands, spaced by ∼100 nm, and aligned parallel to the pendulum axis. Kinks in the development of the superfluid fraction (at various pressures) as the temperature is varied correspond to phase transitions. Two such transitions are seen in the superfluid state, and we identify the superfluid phase closest to T c at low pressure as the polar state, a phase that is not seen in bulk 3 He.
|Publication status||Published - 27 Sept 2016|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|