On the foundations of Landau’s theory of superfluid helium

  • R. J. Atkin
  • N. Fox
Conference paper


Superfluid helium exhibits some of the most fascinating effects known to continuum physics. Standard texts such as Wilks [1] and Putterman [2] may be consulted for comprehensive surveys. The generally accepted theory describing the most fundamental aspects of the behaviour of this liquid is that due to Landau [3]. At the foundation of this theory is a notional mixture of two ingredients referred to as normal fluid and superfluid. As Landau has emphasized, this mixture is not of the conventional kind. Since all the atoms present are helium atoms, distinct constituents cannot exist independently of each other. Some motivation for the mixture idea may be found from quantum statistical mechanics in terms of the Bose-Einstein condensate, but we consider here only those approaches which may be directly related to the principles of continuum mechanics.


Constitutive Equation Helium Atom Landau Theory Normal Fluid Quantum Statistical Mechanic 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. J. Atkin
    • 1
  • N. Fox
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Applied & Computational MathematicsThe University SheffieldEngland

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