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Fluctuations and the superconducting phase transition: Critical specific heat and paraconductivity

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Abstract

A general discussion is given of the role of fluctuations in introducing new effects in a superconductor at temperatures just above its transition temperature. In this region the BCS theory of superconductivity, a type of mean-field theory, does not predict any variation from normal state behavior until the critical point is reached. But the close analogy between the superconducting phase transition and other phase transitions requires the appearance of deviations from normal state behavior. The existence of a strong rise in the electrical conductivity, or “paraconductivity,” has been verified by Glover. A review of the phenomenological Landau-Ginzburg theory describing this effect is presented, as well as a calculation of the critical variation in the specific heat. A measurement of the latter effect would constitute an important check on the theory.

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Additional information

Most of this material has been presented in a series of lectures given by the author at the Batsheva Seminar on Quantum Fluids, Technion, Haifa, Israël, August 1968; University of Maryland Department of Physics and Astronomy, Tech. Rept. no. 932 (January 1969). The work has been supported in part by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and by the Office of Naval Research.

National Science Foundation Senior Postdoctoral Fellow.

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Ferrell, R.A. Fluctuations and the superconducting phase transition: Critical specific heat and paraconductivity. J Low Temp Phys 1, 241–271 (1969). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00628412

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Keywords

  • Phase Transition
  • Electrical Conductivity
  • Transition Temperature
  • Normal State
  • Magnetic Material