The formation and dynamics of topological defects of different structure has been of central interest in the study of the 3He superfluids. Compared to superfluid 4He-II, the variability of the important parameters with temperature and pressure is wider and many features are more ideal. This has made experimentally new approaches possible. An example is the formation of quantized vortices and other topological defects in a rapid time-dependent phase transition from the normal state to 3He-B. This vortex formation process is known as the Kibble-Zurek mechanism and is one the central topics of this review. It demonstrates the use of 3He-B as a model system for quantum fields, with detailed control from the laboratory.
- Pub Date:
- September 1998
- Condensed Matter - Other Condensed Matter;
- General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology;
- High Energy Physics - Phenomenology
- Long review