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Absolute Zero : What keeps Helium from becoming solid?

  1. May 23, 2005 #1
    I'm guessing this most likely has something some to do with Helium's superfluidity, but I'm still managing to draw a blank on what exactly stops it solidifying.

    Any thoughts?
     
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  3. May 23, 2005 #2

    Gokul43201

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    At what pressure ?
     
  4. May 23, 2005 #3
    I was under the impression that solid helium was just out of the question at any pressure. Although my own search has revealed otherwise and your question points out similar.

    Lets say 1atm, everything is solid at 0K except Helium which is still merrily a liquid.

    My thoughts are currently along the lines that He doesn't form molecules (like Hydrogen) so it is left to interact with other He particles only via Van der Waals forces. At 0k the atoms in the (now liquid) helium have no kinetic energy. No energy except for zero point energy.

    Am I right in concluding that at 1atm, the zero point energy of helium gives it enough KE to avoid forming in to a solid structure?
     
  5. May 23, 2005 #4

    Gokul43201

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  6. May 23, 2005 #5
    Cheers, I guess I Should have searched a bit harder before asking
     
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