Oscillations of Charged Helium II Drops

Document Type



Physics (Pomona)

Publication Date



shape oscillations, helium drops, magnetic field, amplitude, damping


We report on an experimental study of the shape oscillations of charged helium drops levitated with a magnetic field. Shape oscillations are excited with an AC electric field. Many different modes of oscillation of the drop are observable. The resonant frequencies of the drops are found to be a function of amplitude. Quantitative measurements of the damping of shape oscillations are made by using a laser beam focused through the drop. The observed damping of shape oscillations is found to be greater than the damping due to the viscosities of the liquid and the surrounding vapor. Other mechanisms possibly responsible for this damping are discussed. We also report experiments on drops with angular momentum.

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© 1998 Plenum Publishing Corporation; © Springer, Part of Springer Science+Business Media