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What Is a Superfluid? Discovering Superpowers of Helium

What is a superfluid?

A fluid with zero viscosity which therefore flows without loss of kinetic energy is called a superfluid and was first discovered by the Dutch physicist and Nobel Prize winner Heike Kamerlingh Onnes in liquid helium. He was the first who has liquefied helium by cooling it. The Superfluity appears in 2 isotopes of helium: helium-3 and helium-4. When cooling helium to a extremely low temperature(below –269 degrees Celsius), helium changes its aggregate condition to liquid and the phenomenon can be seen.

What are the ‘superpowers’ of a superfluid?

If you have stirred a liquid in a cup, for example tea, it will stop moving after some time, because atoms of the liquid will collide with each other and slow down. But if we do it with helium, it will stay rotating forever. Another weird things helium can do are, for example: dribbling through molecule-thin cracks or climbing up a vertical surface.

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