Path-Dependent Supercooling of the $^3$He Superfluid A-B transition

Kavli Affiliate: Jeevak Parpia

| First 5 Authors: Dmytro Lotnyk, Anna Eyal, Nikolay Zhelev, Abhilash Sebastian, Yefan Tian

| Summary:

We examine the discontinuous first-order superfluid $^3$He A to B transition
in the vicinity of the polycritical point (2.232 mK and 21.22 bar). We find
path-dependent transitions: cooling at fixed pressure yields a well defined
transition line in the temperature-pressure plane, but this line can be
reliably crossed by depressurizing at nearly constant temperature after
transiting $T_{rm c}$ at a higher pressure. This path dependence is not
consistent with any of the standard B-phase nucleation mechanisms in the
literature. This symmetry breaking transition is a potential simulator for
first order transitions in the early universe.

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