Key Questions We Want to Answer:
there differences in behavior between a bulk quantity of
a material, compared to a pancake-shaped mass of the same
material, that are caused by moving it into the new shape?
The Confined Helium Experiment (CHEX) tests theories about
the differences in behavior of matter in three-dimensional
and two-dimensional states. When liquid helium is supercooled
it goes through a phase transition and becomes a superfluid,
which gives it a new set of properties. Proving the Renormalization
Group Theory, which works to explain how these transitions
occur, is a priority for scientists.
What We Already Know:
measures how much heat is needed to get liquid helium to
rise to certain temperatures when it is in different shapes
and thickness. By measuring temperature rise it is possible
to learn how the size and shape of the container changes
the behavior of the material at the point of phase transition.
What We Hope to Find Out:
How We'll Conduct Our Experiment:
create the experiment, liquid helium is placed between sheets
of silicone inside a copper container. The container is
placed in a large thermos bottle filled with even colder
liquid helium to maintain its low temperature. When the
experiment is taken into the microgravity of space, a heat
pulse is applied and the material is measured to see how
much power it takes to raise the temperature. Measurements
are taken within one-tenth of a billion degree accuracy.
By operating experiments like CHEX in microgravity it is
possible to use larger samples, which further increases
accuracy. On Earth only a very small sample of the material
can be tested.
Additional information :