Occam’s Razor Cuts Down Superconductor Classifications
Researchers have wrestled with the question of whether or not the newest superconducting materials fit within the traditional classifications. Superconductors can be divided into Type 1 and Type 2, depending on how they behave in a magnetic field. However, magnesium diboride was discovered to have characteristics of both categories and has been dubbed “Type 1.5”. Drawing on the fundamentals of Ginzburg-Landau theory, the basis of the two original types, a combination of theory and simulation has determined that a new class is not warranted. Close to the superconducting transition temperature (where the Ginzburg-Landau theory is valid), the energy of the interface between a normal and a superconducting region is described by the same universal function for Type 1 and Type 2 superconductors and also those that behave like both. This makes the idea of Type 1.5 superconductivity unnecessary within the Ginzburg-Landau theory. The behavior of magnesium diboride can be understood in terms of Type 2 superconductivity.
- J. Geyer, R. M. Fernandes, V. G. Kogan and J. Schmalian. Interface Energy of Two-Band Superconductors. Physical Review B, 2010, 82, 104521. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.82.104521. Editor’s Suggestion
- V. G. Kogan and J. Schmalian. Ginzburg-Landau Theory of Two-Band Superconductors: Absence of Type-1.5 Superconductivity. Physical Review B, 2011, 83, 054515. Editor’s Suggestion