A Caltech Library Service

Second Sound Scattering in Superfluid Helium


Rösgen, Thomas (1985) Second Sound Scattering in Superfluid Helium. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/r8ge-j070.


Focusing cavities are used to study the scattering of second sound in liquid helium II. The special geometries reduce wall interference effects and allow measurements in very small test volumes.

In a first experiment, a double elliptical cavity is used to focus a second sound wave onto a small wire target. A thin film bolometer measures the side scattered wave component. The agreement with a theoretical estimate is reasonable, although some problems arise from the small measurement volume and associated alignment requirements.

A second cavity is based on confocal parabolas, thus enabling the use of large planar sensors. A cylindrical heater produces again a focused second sound wave. Three sensors monitor the transmitted wave component as well as the side scatter in two different directions. The side looking sensors have very high sensitivities due to their large size and resistance. Specially developed cryogenic amplifiers are used to match them to the signal cables.

In one case, a second auxiliary heater is used to set up a strong counterflow in the focal region. The second sound wave then scatters from the induced fluid disturbances.

Attempts to observe scattering from quantized vortex lines in the rotating parabolic cavity ultimately did not succeed, although a theoretical estimate seems to indicate a basic feasibility.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Aeronautics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Liepmann, Hans Wolfgang
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:25 September 1984
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSFMEA 82-00027
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-10292003-161340
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:4302
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:30 Oct 2003
Last Modified:16 Apr 2021 22:55

Thesis Files

PDF - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page