Superfluidity Within a Small Helium-4 Cluster: The Microscopic Andronikashvili Experiment

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The infrared spectrum of single oxygen carbon sulfide (OCS) molecules was measured inside large superfluid pure helium-4 droplets and nonsuperfluid pure helium-3 droplets, both consisting of about 104 atoms. In the helium-4 droplets, sharp rotational lines were observed, whereas in helium-3 only a broad peak was found. This difference is interpreted as evidence that the narrow rotational lines, which imply free rotations, are a microscopic manifestation of superfluidity. Upon addition of 60 helium-4 atoms to the pure helium-3 droplets, the same sharp rotational lines were found; it appears that 60 is the minimum number needed for superfluidity.

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