Journal of Low Temperature Physics

, Volume 90, Issue 5–6, pp 363–404 | Cite as

Diffusion mechanism in the quantum decay of metastable3He-4He mixtures at low temperatures

  • S. N. Burmistrov
  • L. B. Dubovskii
  • V. L. Tsymbalenko


We study the quantum phase-separation kinetics of a supersaturated liquid mixture at temperatures down to absolute zero. The energy dissipation effect of diffusion is incorporated into the calculation of the nucleation rate in normal and superfluid liquid mixtures. Unlike single-component systems, diffusion is the principal process which governs both the quantum nucleation rate and supercritical droplet growth rate in mixtures near the demixing curve. The low temperature phase-separation experiments in supersaturated liquid3He-4He mixtures of3He-dilute phase are analyzed and discussed. The critical degree of metastability and at the same time the critical droplet radius are shown to be temperature-independent below about 80 mK, suggesting the temperature of the thermal-to-quantum crossover to be of the same order of magnitude. The critical radius of a demixed droplet is estimated as about 20 Å, being within reasonable values.


Nucleation Rate Liquid Mixture Droplet Radius Droplet Growth Critical Degree 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. N. Burmistrov
    • 1
  • L. B. Dubovskii
    • 1
  • V. L. Tsymbalenko
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Superconductivity and Solid State PhysicsKurchatov InstituteMoscowRussia

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