News of the WeekCondensed-Matter Physics

New Spin on Solid Helium Bolsters Case for Bizarre Flow

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Science  19 Nov 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6007, pp. 1033
DOI: 10.1126/science.330.6007.1033-a

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For 6 years, physicists have debated whether solidified helium can flow like the thinnest liquid in a bizarre phenomenon known as "supersolidity." In fact, just 5 months ago one experimenter reported that a softening of the crystalline helium may explain the apparent signs of the strange resistance-free flow. Now, a team from South Korea and Japan reports online in Science this week on a new experiment that strongly supports the presence of flow by literally putting a new spin on the original experiment.