Supercooling of the A phase of 3He

Y. Tian, D. Lotnyk, A. Eyal, K. Zhang, N. Zhelev, T.S. Abhilash, A. Chavez, E.N. Smith, M. Hindmarsh, J. Saunders, E. Mueller, J.M. Parpia (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Because of the extreme purity, lack of disorder, and complex order parameter, the first-order superfluid 3He A–B transition is the leading model system for first order transitions in the early universe. Here we report on the path dependence of the supercooling of the A phase over a wide range of pressures below 29.3 bar at nearly zero magnetic field. The A phase can be cooled significantly below the thermodynamic A–B transition temperature. While the extent of supercooling is highly reproducible, it depends strongly upon the cooling trajectory: The metastability of the A phase is enhanced by transiting through regions where the A phase is more stable. We provide evidence that some of the additional supercooling is due to the elimination of B phase nucleation precursors formed upon passage through the superfluid transition. A greater understanding of the physics is essential before 3He can be exploited to model transitions in the early universe.
Original languageEnglish
Article number148
Number of pages9
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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