Superfluidity of Grain Boundaries and Supersolid Behavior

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Science  25 Aug 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5790, pp. 1098-1100
DOI: 10.1126/science.1130879

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When two communicating vessels are filled to a different height with liquid, the two levels equilibrate because the liquid can flow. We have looked for such equilibration with solid 4He. For crystals with no grain boundaries, we see no flow of mass, whereas for crystals containing several grain boundaries, we detect a mass flow. Our results suggest that the transport of mass is due to the superfluidity of grain boundaries.

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