themadscientists

Superfluid helium, a peak into the wierdness of Quantum Physics

In Uncategorized on February 14, 2011 at 20:34

The Helium is leaking through the bottom of the glass because the atoms are sitting almost completely still due to the lack of thermal energy. Nothing that exists on our planet is completely solid, and the glass has billions and billions of small pores in it. As a normal liquid the helium will stay in the jar because the molecules jiggle against eachother like small bouncy-balls. But if it is cooled to almost -273 degrees C the jiggling almost stop, and it seeps straight through the glass.

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  1. The reason that the helium is leaking through the glass, is that the particles in the liquid are almost standing completely still, because of the lack of thermal energy.

    The particles in themselves are much smaller than the pores in the glass, and if they get cooled down enough, they stop bouncing around like crazy, and run through the pores.

    This is also why electricity is lost when we transport it through wires. The particles are hot, and some of the energy is lost when the particles bounce off each-other constantly, rather than moving in an orderly fashion. In science this is called “entropy.”

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