Helium: Not so super after all

An exciting discovery in physics turns out to be merely a case of mistaken identity

By Stephen Ornes, 10:00 AM November 2, 2012




Sometimes amazing results turn out to be just too amazing to be true. It’s an embarrassing truth that physicist Moses Chan of Pennsylvania State University and his colleagues have just had to acknowledge publicly.


In 2004, Chan reported remarkably strange experimental results. He'd found a solid material that when chilled to supercold temperatures flowed without slowing down. This material appeared immune to friction — something that should not be possible. (Imagine how fast you'd slide do...

Source URL: https://student.societyforscience.org/article/helium-not-so-super-after-all