Avalanches and Self-Organized Criticality in superconductors
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We review the use of superconductors as a playground for the experimental study of front roughening and avalanches. Using the magneto-optical technique, the spatial distribution of the vortex density in the sample is monitored as a function of time. The roughness and growth exponents corresponding to the vortex `landscape' are determined and compared to the exponents that characterize the avalanches in the framework of Self-Organized Criticality. For those situations where a thermo-magnetic instability arises, an analytical non-linear and non-local model is discussed, which is found to be consistent to great detail with the experimental results. On anisotropic substrates, the anisotropy regularizes the avalanches.
PACS.05.65.+b Self-organized systems 74.25.Fy Transport properties (electric and thermal conductivity, thermoelectric effects, etc.) 74.25.Qt Vortex lattices, flux pinning, flux creep
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