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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A rotation experiment with liquid helium II Crooks, Michael John Chamberlain


The thesis contains a brief introduction to the problem of He II, including mention of the salient experimental work, of the last fifty years. The treatment of He II in rotating systems is then discussed in more detail and a review of the previous rotation experiments is presented. In a rotating mass of He II, it has been shown by Osborne that the parabolic rise of the liquid surface should be proportional to the amount of normal fluid present and that a radial temperature gradient should be set up. For reasonable angular velocities (on the order of 3 rev/sec.) and for beakers of about 2 cm. radius, the temperature difference between the axis and the periphery would be on the order of 10⁻⁴°K . It can be shown that this temperature would lead to an effective distillation of liquid from the warmer to the cooler regions which it was thought might be the mechanism leading to the known result that the whole mass of liquid partakes of the rotary motion. An experiment was designed whereby a volume of helium might be rotated but the possibility of such a distillation process was eliminated. Measurements of the surface shape during rotation showed that even in this case the whole fluid rotated at all angular velocities and temperatures used. Finally, further experiments which might shed further light on this problem are proposed.

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