Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Superfluidity and superconductivity?

Is there any relation between the two aside from the fact that they are somewhat analogies , I see a lot of people on the internet who claim the helium (in it's superfluid state) is a also a super conductor but searching this site and Wikipedia I couldn't find anything speaking directly of this although I found statements like this "liquid helium is used to cool the superconducting material ...." which suggest the opposite .

-update: "Josephson effect has also been observed in SHeQUIDs, the superfluid Helium analog of a dc-SQUID" in case SHeQUIDs isn't a superconductor how could this be?

share|cite|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

There is a HUGE relation between them and Bose-Einstein condensation.

I refer you to the amazingly amazing book by James Annett (which explains precisely your question):
Superconductivity, Superfluids, and Condensates

share|cite|improve this answer

Both of them are super-interesting to study:-)

Superfluid is a low-temperature state of a quantum many-body system of electrically neutral particles (e.g. atoms). Superfluids have some amazing properties. For example, there is no dissipation (i.e. friction) and the flow is irrotational (up to quantum vortices). Theoretically it is described by a macroscopic wave-function with its absolute value related to the superfluid density and the gradient of its phase defines the superfluid velocity. In addition, in every superfluid there is also a physical Goldstone mode which costs nothing to excite.

Superconductor is like a superfluid, but the elementary particles are electrically charged (e.g. electrons). This leads to the Meissner effect, i.e. it costs energy for the magnetic field to penetrate into a superconductor. There is also no physical soft mode in the energy spectrum. Theoretically all this is explained by the Higgs mechanism.

In both cases the lowest energy quantum state is macroscopically populated which is know as Bose-Einstein condensation.

share|cite|improve this answer
thank you for the explanation – ψευδή ηχώ Oct 4 '13 at 4:09

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.