Quantum cavitation in superfluid helium 4 ?
We have observed the nucleation of bubbles in superfluid helium-4 at negative pressure and at temperatures down to 65 mK. Cavitation is found to be a random process. Above 1 K, its probability varies with temperature in a manner consistent with classical activation by thermal fluctuations. Below 0.4 K, Cavitation is still random but temperature independent, in agreement with a recent theory of quantum tunneling. We also consider another possible interpretation involving turbulence in the focal region.
PACS numbers67 62.60.+v 64
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