Fr.: point lambda
The temperature (roughly 2.17 K) at which → liquid helium (→ helium I) becomes → superfluid (→ helium II).
The name was given by the Dutch physicist Willem Hendrik Keesom (1876-1956), who discovered the behavior of helium near this transition point and successfully solidified helium in 1926 (under an external pressure of 25 atmospheres). The name was originally suggested by Paul Ehrenfest (1880-1933), who was inspired by the shape of the → specific heat curve, which resembles the Gk. letter → lambda; → point.