Sébastien Balibar is a CNRS Director of Research working at the Laboratoire de Physique Statistique de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS), Paris. He received his Ph.D. in 1976 under Albert Libchaber at the ENS and has carried out extensive research in low-temperature and condensed-matter physics. Dr. Balibar was an invited professor at Konstanz Universität, Kyoto University, and Harvard University, where he was a recipient of the Loeb Lectureship. Among various honors, he was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society and shared the Fritz London Memorial Prize in 2005. The author of numerous research papers, he has also written the book La Pomme et l’Atome, (Odile Jacob, Paris, 2005) (The Atom and the Apple: Twelve Tales of Contemporary Physics, Princeton University Press, 2008).
Experiments indicate that, as in a superfluid, mass can flow through solid helium-4 without viscous resistance. Recent calculations shed light on how this may happen thanks to defects in the crystal lattice.