Upper limit of supersolidity in solid helium

Duk Y. Kim, Moses H.W. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The resonant period drop observed at low temperatures in torsional oscillators containing solid helium had been interpreted as a signature of a supersolid. However, it was found that the shear modulus increase found in solid helium at the same low temperature could also decrease the resonant period of the torsional oscillator. We report the results of a study in two different torsional oscillators that were specially designed to minimize the shear modulus effect and maximize any possible supersolid response. We were able to place an upper limit on the nonclassical rotational inertia or supersolid fraction of 4×10-6. Moreover, we have repeated an earlier experiment on the hcp He3 solid, which shows similar low-temperature stiffening to that in hcp He4. We found that the small drop of the resonant period measured in the hcp He3 sample is comparable in size to that found in the hcp He4 samples. These results strongly suggest that the resonant period drop reported in most torsional oscillator studies in the last decade is primarily a consequence of the shear modulus stiffening effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number064503
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 11 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Upper limit of supersolidity in solid helium'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this