The missing angular momentum of superconductors

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Hirsch, J. E.
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Abstract
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We point out that the Meissner effect, the process by which a superconductor expels magnetic field from its interior, represents an unsolved puzzle within the London-BCS theoretical framework used to describe the physics of conventional superconductors, because it appears to give rise to non-conservation of angular momentum. Possible ways to avoid this inconsistency within the conventional theory of superconductivity are argued to be farfetched. Consequently, we argue that unless/until a consistent explanation is put forth, the existence of the Meissner effect represents an anomaly that casts doubt on the validity of the conventional framework. Instead, we point out that two elements of the unconventional theory of hole superconductivity, namely that the charge distribution in superconductors is macroscopically inhomogeneous, and the fact that spin-orbit coupling plays an essential role, allow for a consistent explanation of the Meissner effect.
Keywords
Condensed Matter - Superconductivity, Condensed Matter - Strongly Correlated Electrons
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