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Supercooled Helium Defies Gravity


Image credit: AlfredLeitner. A thin film of liquid helium creeps up the side of the container, over the edge and forms a droplet on the bottom before dropping below until the container is empty.

Helium is kind of a gas used for blowing up balloons or it could make people talk like chipmunks as well. As the important coolant, it is also widely applied in medical devices and scientific instrumentation. But we know little about that helium has two different liquid states, one of which is quite strange, even creepy.

Helium I takes place between 2.18 and 4.22 Kelvin, equaling to the temperature between -270.97°C to -268.93°C. As it is involved in some quirks of its own, it could not be possibly seen. Therefore scientists have to make things floating in it so as to identify the location of its surface. Compared to a vacuum, or the Earth’s atmosphere, it is caused by being both transparent and barely slowing light.

If you want to observe what the weird thing helium is under 2.18K, you had better to watch this BBC video, from which you may get some idea about it.

Source: BBC