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Surface tension sound in superfluid helium films adsorbed on alumina powder

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Sound propagation has been studied in He II films adsorbed on alumina powder grains (Al2O3). Sound velocity and adsorption isotherm data provide evidence that surf ace tension forces can exceed the van der Waals forces as the film thickness increases. A model of capillary condensation at the points where the powder grains touch accounts for many of the qualitative features of the data. The surface tension sound velocity decreases with increasing powder grain size.

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Project supported in part by NSF Contract DMR 76-22306 and by ONR Contract N00014-75-C-0246.

Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow.

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Rosenbaum, R., Williams, G.A., Heckerman, D. et al. Surface tension sound in superfluid helium films adsorbed on alumina powder. J Low Temp Phys 37, 663–678 (1979).

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