Shear modulus in viscoelastic solid 4He

Jung-Jung Su*, Matthias J. Graf, Alexander V. Balatsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The complex shear modulus of solid 4He exhibits an anomaly in the same temperature region where torsion oscillators show a change in period. We propose that the observed stiffening of the shear modulus with decreasing temperature can be well described by the response of glassy components inside of solid 4He. Since glass is an anelastic material, we utilize the viscoelastic approach to describe its dynamics. The viscoelastic component possesses an increasing relaxation as temperature decreases. The response functions thus derived are identical to those obtained for a glassy, time-delayed restoring back-action. By generalizing the viscoelastic equations for stress and strain to a multiphase system of constituents, composed of patches with different damping and relaxation properties, we predict that the maximum change of the magnitude of the shear modulus and the maximum height of the dissipation peak are independent of an applied external frequency. The same response expressions allow us to calculate the temperature dependence of the shear modulus' amplitude and dissipation. Finally, we demonstrate that a Vogel-Fulcher-Tammann (VFT) relaxation time is in agreement with available experimental data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-440
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2011


  • Glass
  • Shear modulus
  • Solid He
  • Supersolid
  • Viscoelastics

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