Zurek-Kibble mechanism for the spontaneous vortex formation in Nb-Al/Al-ox/Nb Josephson tunnel junctions: New theory and experiment

R. Monaco, Jesper Mygind, Morten Aarøe, R. Rivers, V. Koshelets

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Abstract

New scaling behavior has been both predicted and observed in the spontaneous production of fluxons in quenched Nb-Al/Al-ox/Nb annular Josephson tunnel junctions (JTJs) as a function of the quench time, tau(Q). The probability f(1) to trap a single defect during the normal-metal-superconductor phase transition clearly follows an allometric dependence on tau(Q) with a scaling exponent sigma=0.5, as predicted from the Zurek-Kibble mechanism for realistic JTJs formed by strongly coupled superconductors. This definitive experiment replaces one reported by us earlier, in which an idealized model was used that predicted sigma=0.25, commensurate with the then much poorer data. Our experiment remains the only condensed matter experiment to date to have measured a scaling exponent with any reliability.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume96
Issue number18
Pages (from-to)180604
ISSN0031-9007
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2006 American Physical Society

Keywords

  • COSMIC STRINGS
  • GENERATION
  • SUPERFLUID HE-3
  • FLUX
  • ANALOG
  • LIQUID-HE-4
  • LAMBDA-TRANSITION

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