Nature 141, 74-74 (08 January 1938) | doi:10.1038/141074a0

Viscosity of Liquid Helium below the λ-Point



THE abnormally high heat conductivity of helium II below the λ-point, as first observed by Keesom, suggested to me the possibility of an explanation in terms of convection currents. This explanation would require helium II to have an abnormally low viscosity; at present, the only viscosity measurements on liquid helium have been made in Toronto1, and showed that there is a drop in viscosity below the λ-point by a factor of 3 compared with liquid helium at normal pressure, and by a factor of 8 compared with the value just above the λ-point. In these experiments, however, no check was made to ensure that the motion was laminar, and not turbulent.



  1. Burton, NATURE, 135, 265 (1935); Wilhelm, Misener and Clark, Proc. Roy. Soc., A, 151, 342 (1935).
  2. NATURE, 140, 62 (1937).