Stable Hopf-Skyrme topological excitations in the superconducting state

Abstract : At large scales, magnetostatics of superconductors is described by a massive vector field theory: the London model. The magnetic field cannot penetrate into the bulk unless quantum vortices are formed. These are topological excitations characterized by an invariant: the phase winding. The London model dictates that loops of such vortices are not stable because the kinetic energy of superflow and the magnetic energy are smaller, the smaller vortex loops are. We demonstrate that in two-component superconductors, under certain conditions, such as the proximity to pair-density-wave instabilities, the hydromagnetostatics of the superconducting state and topological excitation changes dramatically: the excitations acquire the form of stable vortex loops and knots characterized by the different topological invariant: the Hopf index and hence termed hopfions. This demonstrates that magnetic properties in a superconducting state can be dramatically different from those of a London's massive vector field theory.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - 11:36:42 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 13, 2019 - 2:07:12 PM

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Filipp N. Rybakov, Julien Garaud, Egor Babaev. Stable Hopf-Skyrme topological excitations in the superconducting state. Phys.Rev.B, 2019, 100 (9), pp.094515. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevB.100.094515⟩. ⟨hal-02338387⟩

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