Modern Theory for the Orbital Moment in a Superconductor

28 Feb 2018  ·  Robbins Joshua, Annett James F., Gradhand Martin ·

The chiral p-wave superconducting state is comprised of spin triplet Cooper pairs carrying a finite orbital angular momentum. For the case of a periodic lattice, calculating the net magnetisation arising from this orbital component presents a challenge as the circulation operator $\hat{\bf{r}} \times \hat{\bf{p}}$ is not well defined in the Bloch representation... This difficulty has been overcome in the normal state, for which a modern theory is firmly established. Here, we derive the extension of this normal state approach, generating a theory which is valid for a general superconducting state, and go on to perform model calculations for a chiral p-wave state in Sr$_2$RuO$_4$. The results suggest that the magnitude of the elusive edge current in Sr$_2$RuO$_4$ is finite, but lies below experimental resolution. This provides a possible solution to the long-standing controversy concerning the gap symmetry of the superconducting state in this material. read more

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