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Ab Initio Values of the Thermophysical Properties of Helium as Standards



John J. Hurly, Michael R. Moldover


Recent quantum mechanical calculations of the interaction energy of pairs of helium atoms are accurate and some include reliable estimates of their uncertainty. We combined these recent ab initio results with earlier published results to obtain a helium-helium interatomic potential that includes relativistic retardation effects over all ranges of interaction. From this potential, we calculated the thermophysical properties of helium, i.e., the second virial coefficients, the dilute-gas viscosities, and the dilute-gas thermal conductivities of ^3^He, ^4^He, and their equimolar mixture from 1 K to 104 K. We also calculated the diffusion and thermal diffusion coefficients of mixtures of 3He and 4He. For the pure fluids, the uncertainties of the calculated values are dominated by the uncertainties of the potential; for the mixtures, the uncertainties of the transport properties also include contributions from approximations in the transport theory. In all cases, the uncertainties are smaller than the corresponding experimental uncertainties; therefore, we recommend that the ab initio results be used as standards for calibrating instruments relying on these thermophysical properties. We present the calculated thermophysical properties in easy-to-use tabular form.
Journal of Research (NIST JRES) -


diffusion coefficient, helium, intermolecular potential, second virial, thermal conductivity, thermal diffusion factor, thermophysical standards, transport properties, viscosity


Hurly, J. and Moldover, M. (2000), Ab Initio Values of the Thermophysical Properties of Helium as Standards, Journal of Research (NIST JRES), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (Accessed May 24, 2024)


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Created September 1, 2000, Updated February 17, 2017