Novel methods to create multielectron bubbles in superfluid helium

Fang, J.; Dementyev, Anatoly E.; Tempere, J.; Silvera, Isaac F.
March 2011
Review of Scientific Instruments;Mar2011, Vol. 82 Issue 3, p033904
Academic Journal
An equilibrium multielectron bubble (MEB) in liquid helium is a fascinating object with a spherical two-dimensional electron gas on its surface. We discuss two ways in which they have been created. For MEBs that have been observed in the dome of a cylindrical cell with an unexpectedly short lifetime, we show analytically why these MEBs can discharge by tunneling. Using a novel method, MEBs have been extracted from a vapor sheath around a hot filament in superfluid helium by applying electric fields up to 15 kV/cm, and photographed with high-speed video. Charges as high as 1.6×10-9 C (∼1010 electrons) have been measured. The latter method provides a means of capture in an electromagnetic trap to allow the study of the extensive exciting properties of these elusive objects.


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