Physics in Perspective

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 165–188

From Defiant Youth to Conformist Adulthood: The Sad Story of Liquid Helium

  • Kostas Gavroglu

DOI: 10.1007/PL00000528

Cite this article as:
Gavroglu, K. Phys. perspect. (2001) 3: 165. doi:10.1007/PL00000528


In this paper I discuss the properties of superfluid helium and present the different approaches to the problem of superfluidity. The gradual realization of this new liquid state brought about dramatic changes in our assessment of quantum mechanics and our reconceptualization of fluids, especially with the introduction of the notion of macroscopic quantum phenomena, which was introduced for superconductivity and superfluidity by Fritz London.

Key words. Superconductivity, superfluidity, liquid helium, Fritz London, Lev Landau, Laszlo Tisza, Petr Kapitza. 

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel, 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kostas Gavroglu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Athens, John Kennedy 37, 161-21 Athens, Greece, e-mail: kgavro@cc.uoa.grGR

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