Observation of Anomalously Low Momentum Transfer in the Low Energy Scattering of Large 4He Droplets From 4He and 3He Atoms

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The momentum transferred to large superfluid 4He droplets (Ñ ≈ 1.5 · 109) in low energy (≈ 4–10 K) scattering from 4He and 3He atoms was determined from time of flight measurements after the droplets have passed through a low temperature (T = 1.7–4.2 K) scattering box filled with the gas of either He isotope. The results are compared with 3He droplets scattered from either 4He or 3He gas for which all of the incident momentum is transferred, as expected for classical capture of the scattering gas atoms. In the case of the 4He droplets a smaller momentum transfer is found amounting to 65% for 4He atoms and 45% for 3He atoms but only at the lowest collision energies. These results are consistent with transmission of some of the atoms through the droplets.

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