A test of the universality hypothesis for phase transitions on the International Space Station

Lipa, J. A.; Swanson, D. R.; Nissen, J. A.; Geng, K.; Kim, K.; Day, P.
January 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 504 Issue 1, p669
Academic Journal
We describe the motivation and status of a new space flight experiment to test the universality hypothesis as applied to second-order phase transitions. We plan to measure the temperature dependence of the superfluid density of helium in the region very close to the superfluid transition on paths of constant pressure along the lambda line. Recently developed high-resolution second-sound detectors have substantially improved our ability to study the behavior of the superfluid density close to the transition. In order to demonstrate the feasibility of the flight experiment, ground based measurements have been conducted. Second-sound was generated using the nearly reversible magnetic entropy of a paramagnetic material and by the conventional heater method. A superconducting pressure gauge was built to allow nondissipative, precision pressure measurement and control. These systems have been fully integrated to demonstrate the performance needed for flight. Preliminary results of the second-sound measurements are presented which are more consistent with universality than were previous experiments. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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