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Atomic theory of the lambda transition in helium

Feynman, R. P. (1953) Atomic theory of the lambda transition in helium. Physical Review, 91 (6). pp. 1291-1301. ISSN 0031-899X. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.91.1291.

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It is shown from first principles that, in spite of the large interatomic forces, liquid He4 should exhibit a transition analogous to the transition in an ideal Bose-Einstein gas. The exact partition function is written as an integral over trajectories, using the space-time approach to quantum mechanics. It is next argued that the motion of one atom through the others is not opposed by a potential barrier because the others may move out of the way. This just increases the effective inertia of the moving atom. This permits a simpler form to be written for the partition function. A rough analysis of this form shows the existence of a transition, but of the third order. It is possible that a more complete analysis would show that the transition implied by the simplified partition function is actually like the experimental one.

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Additional Information:©1953 The American Physical Society. Received 15 May 1953. The author appreciates conversations with Edward Kerner and with M. Kac, as a result of which he became interested in the problem. He also is grateful for discussions with E. Wigner, H. Bethe, and R. F. Christy.
Issue or Number:6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:FEYpr53b
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:3537
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:13 Jun 2006
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 19:56

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