Fundamental Physics PI Describes Research at Lambda Transition

David Goodstein of Caltech University, the PI for the CQ flight experiment, traveled to Edmonton, Alberta to present an invited talk titled "A Dynamical New Look at the Lambda Transition." The abstract for his talk follows:

The dynamical behavior of liquid helium very close to the superfluid transition is a new playground where theory meets experiment, and theory generally loses. Superflow is expected to break down and the heat capacity is expected to diverge along a curve in the Q - T plane, where Q is the heat flux and T is the temperature. The curve should extend from the lambda point at Q = 0 to lower temperature as Q rises. Theory and experiment disagree on both the position of the breakdown curve and the magnitude of the heat capacity. Furthermore, experiments give different results depending on whether the heat is made to flow upwards or downwards. The gravity of the situation may be overcome by future experiments planned for the International Space Station.

Largely the same presentation will be offered to graduate students in Caltech's Applied Physics Department next week, and to Physics graduate students on February 13.