Ultra-High Q Acoustic Resonance in Superfluid \(^4\)He


We report the measurement of the acoustic quality factor of a gram-scale, kilohertz-frequency superfluid resonator, detected through the parametric coupling to a superconducting niobium microwave cavity. For temperatures between 400 mK and 50 mK, we observe a \(T^{-4}\) temperature dependence of the quality factor, consistent with a 3-phonon dissipation mechanism. We observe Q factors up to \(1.4\times 10^8\), consistent with the dissipation due to dilute \(^3\)He impurities, and expect that significant further improvements are possible. These experiments are relevant to exploring quantum behavior and decoherence of massive macroscopic objects, the laboratory detection of continuous gravitational waves from pulsars, and the probing of possible limits to physical length scales.

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We acknowledge funding provided by the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, an NSF Physics Frontiers Center (NSF IQIM-1125565) with support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (GBMF-1250) NSF DMR-1052647, and DARPA-QUANTUM HR0011-10-1-0066. L.D. acknowledges support from the NSF GRFP under Grant No. DGE-1144469.

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Correspondence to K. C. Schwab.

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De Lorenzo, L.A., Schwab, K.C. Ultra-High Q Acoustic Resonance in Superfluid \(^4\)He. J Low Temp Phys 186, 233–240 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10909-016-1674-x

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  • Acoustic Mode
  • Microwave Cavity
  • Dilution Refrigerator
  • Heat Leak
  • Kapitza Resistance