How IPP Explains Superfluidity of Helium 4
Webster's New World Dictionary defines superfluidity as:
"the phenomenon, exhibited by liquid helium at temperatures below 2.18° K, of flowing without friction and having very high thermal conductivity"
This definition falls far short of conveying the baffling nature of this ability of "flowing without friction". For example, when liquid helium above this critical temperature is poured into a beaker, which is then placed in a transparent container in a cryostat, and subsequently cooled below this critical temperature of 2.18 degrees kelvin, a wonderful phenomenon occurs: what one notices is that, in defiance of all common experience, the liquid helium appears to have "leaked" through the walls of the beaker, and has reached a common level inside and outside. If one seeks a more plausible explanation, one must assume that the liquid flows up the walls of the container, against gravity, over the beaker lip, down the outside walls, and into the bottom of the surrounding transparent container. In other words, the liquid film on the beaker walls behaves as if it were a siphon.
What could account for this? Perhaps, when helium atoms lose most of their thermal motions, they acquire the ability to form linear sheet-polymers of tremendous tenacity whose affinity for adjacent polymer sheets is essentially nil. One can picture these sheets as having indeterminate widths and lengths, but having group continuity able to stretch from the inner liquid level over the beaker lip to the outer liquid level. One might say that the property crucial to superfluidity is the complete lack of bonding between these polymer sheets and any materials they come in contact with, including each other. Let us see how IPP explains this non-bonding property.
IPP’s Concept of the Helium Nucleus
We will recall from our website Hadron Tutorial that:
- The two protons and two neutrons of helium form a planar structure parallel to a cardinal lattice plane.
- The +2e charge of the helium nucleus is in the form of four +1/2e c-voids, which do not participate in the internal charge-exchanges, and hence reside unchangingly on the outer ends of the four "spokes" of the helium structure.
- Because of these fixed positive charges, the two "faces" of the helium structure, in both charge-exchange states, consist of equal numbers of plus and minus c-voids. Hence, these faces remain ever neutral, and, thus, have no ability to attract external particles.
IPP’s Concept of Helium’s Electron Orbitals
We will infer:
- That helium's two electrons "graze" the nucleus at the closest approach of each electron's orbit.
- That these electrons fail to hit the nucleus, because their negative charge alters the charge-exchange timing of helium's two-state charge-exchange cycle, so as to produce an asymmetrical charge pattern which deflects the electron away.
- That the angle of this deflection influences the geometry of the orbitals, such as ultimately to bring each close approach of each orbital at the same point in helium's two-state charge-exchange cycle, i.e. the orbitals are quickly synchronized to the charge-exchange cycle.
- That because the two orbiting electrons tend to repel each other, the closest approaches of their orbits will alternate, such that one is at the extremity while the other grazes. This tendency to repel also causes the two orbitals to take diametrically-opposite pathways toward the helium nucleus.
- That because all four of helium's +1/2e charges are in a common plane, its two electrons will tend to orbit in this plane.
- That because these two electrons orbit diametrically opposed, there are two vacant sectors in which two other orbits from adjacent helium atoms can find roaming room. At first thought, it might seem that these adjacent atoms could lie in any of the three cardinal planes, and still offer a suitable orientation for roaming into one of these two vacant sectors. But this thought must be rejected, because only orbits of adjacent helium atoms that lie in the same cardinal plane as the invaded atom will be able to satisfy the planar orbital requirements of both atoms.
- That, as intruding electrons penetrate into the "vacant" sectors, their orbital timing sequences must obviously be 90° out of phase with those of the invaded atom, so that they see maximum attraction from the invaded nucleus, but all these changes are easily accomplished.
- The resultant of all these interacting attributes is a tendency of supercooled helium atoms to join together in a cross-linked planar structure, or "sheet polymer", whose surfaces are composed of orbiting electrons connecting adjacent nuclei, all of which have neutral surfaces in the same cardinal directions. Since the helium atoms, as a group, consist of equal numbers of all three cardinal-plane orientations, they will tend to form extensive sheet polymers in all three cardinal planes, each planar group capable of sliding relative to other sheets in the same plane with absolutely no interaction.
How These "Polymer Sheets" Move Around Corners
We will recall that the orientation of cardinal planes of the space lattice change each time a particle passes through a grain boundary. This suggests that sheet polymers will be constantly breaking up and reforming in different direction relative to the laboratory apparatus. Perhaps we should visualize a superfluid liquid as a sort of jumble of short pieces of non-stick noodles that constantly appear to twist and turn, as new components join to form new pieces in different directions. What links all these short pieces together, even though they have no tendency to bond to orthogonal sheets, is the tendency of their component atoms to form new sheets, with new partners, after each shift of the direction of their cardinal plane. This constant shifting and re-bonding makes each atom part of the total fabric of atoms, even though, at any instant of time, this fabric has no wide-scale integrity. The fabric can go around corners, because the bits and pieces can link in any direction, due to grain-boundary transits.