Observation of self-organized criticality near the superfluid transition in 4He

W. A. Moeur, P. K. Day, F. C. Liu, S. T.P. Boyd, M. J. Adriaans, R. V. Duncan

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We report on an experimental observation of self-organized criticality in 4He very close to its superfluid transition. A constant temperature gradient, independent of the heat flux Q through the sample, is created along a vertical column of 4He by applying heat to the top of the column. This constant temperature gradient equals the gravity-induced gradient in the superfluid transition temperature, indicating that the thermal conductivity of the sample has self-organized. The closeness to criticality in this state is the same throughout most of the sample, and it depends only on Q.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2421-2424
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 24 1997


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