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  • Cesium - A highly-reactive alkali metal. It has a melting point of
    approximately 83 F and explodes when put into contact with water. It is
    of notable interest in the study of superfluids because Cesium is the only
    element known which superfluid helium will not wet.
  • Cryostat - An apparatus for maintaining a constant low temperature
    especially below 0C. Its appearance resembles that of a giant
    thermos bottle.
  • Ellipsometry - A noninvasive in-situ technique that relies upon the
    polarization shift of a reflected beam to measure the properties of the
    reflecting surface, particularly the index of refraction and film thickness.
  • Insert - The experimental cell and associated plumbing which fits
    into a cryostat.
  • Optical Cryostat - a cryostat outfitted with glass viewports which
    allow direct observations of low temperature phenomena.
  • QCM - Quartz Crystal Microbalance
    A device which uses a piezoelectric quartz crystal to measure the
    mass of an object in vacuum at low temperature.
  • Superfluid - an unusual state of matter noted only in liquid helium
    cooled to near absolute zero and characterized by apparently frictionless
    flow (as through fine holes)