Francis M. Gasparini

SUNY Distinguished Professor and Rustgi Professor, Emeritus
Ph.D. University of Minnesota (1970)

132 and 134 Fronczak Hall
(716) 645-3155
Chairs Office: 237 Fronczak Hall,  (716) 645-3421
Lab: 139 Fronczak Hall,  (716) 645-6314
Lab: 129A Fronczak Hall  (716) 645-2576


Ph.D. -- University of Minnesota (1970)
M.S. -- University of Minnesota (1966)
B.S. -- Villanova University (1964)

Research Interests

  • Measurements of the superfluid fraction of 4He in restricted geometries using a resonance of the superfluid and the mass loading of a torsional pendulum
  • Measurements of heat capacity of 4He in restricted geometries using oscillating-temperature calorimetry
  • Development of a high-resolution thermometer for use near 2K
  • Development of direct wafer bonding of silicon wafers
  • Studies of micromachined silicon oscillators for applications to helium films

Liquid 3He and 4He manifest a variety of phenomena at low temperatures. Most prominent among these are the realization of superfluid phases and a number of phase transitions. Some of these transitions can be achieved in an environment that has dimensionality less than three. Further, the ability of mixing the two isotopes yields a rich thermodynamic space that extends in pressure-temperature- concentration, and, in the case of 3He, in magnetic field as well. We have worked on a variety of topics in this field, but, most recently, we have focused on the superfluid transition of 4He in restricted geometries. In these studies, using suitably constructed experimental cells, we can progressively eliminate one spacial variable at a time. This results in "films," "channels," and "boxes." Phase transitions in any system are strongly modified in these limits. This can be calculated theoretically. For many reasons, superfluid 4He is ideally suited for these studies and can be used as a critical test of the theoretical calculations. Our research has been funded by the National Science Foundation since 1976.

Selected Publications

  • "Adiabatic Fountain Resonance in 4He and 3He-4He Mixtures", F. M. Gasparini, M.O. Kimball, and S. Mehta, J. Low Temp. Phys. 125, Nos. 5/6, 215-238 (2001).
  • "Superfluid Fraction of 3He-4He Mixtures Confined at 0.0483??m", F. M. Gasparini and M.O. Kimball, Phys. Rev. Lett. 86, 1558-1561 (2001).
  • "The Superfluid Transition of 4He, a Test Case for Finite-Size Scaling at a Second Order Phase Transition", F.M. Gasparini, M.O. Kimball, and K.P. Mooney, J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 13, 4871-4889 (2001).
  • "Specific Heat near the Superfluid Transition of a 0.9869 m 4He Film", F. M. Gasparini, M.O. Kimball, and S. Mehta, J. Low Temp. Phys. 121, Nos. 1/2, 29-51 (2000).
  • "Superfluid Transition of 4He for Two-Dimensional Crossover, Heat Capacity and Finite-Size Scaling", F.M. Gasparini, S. Mehta, and M.O. Kimball, J. Low Temp. Physics 114, Nos. 5/6, 467-521 (1999).