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When superfluids are a drag

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The article considers the dramatic phenomenon of seemingly frictionless flow of slow-moving superfluids. Specifically the question of whether an object in a superfluid flow experiences any drag force is addressed. A brief account is given of the history of this problem and it is argued that recent advances in ultracold atomic physics can shed much new light on this problem. The article presents the commonly held notion that sufficiently slow-moving superfluids can flow without drag and also discusses research suggesting that scattering quantum fluctuations might cause drag in a superfluid moving at any speed.

Keywords: Bose-Einstein condensation; dissipationless flow; drag force; quantum fluctuations; superfluids/superfluidity

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Theoretical Division and Center for Nonlinear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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