Supercooling across first-order phase transitions in vortex matter
P CHADDAH and S B ROY
Low Temperature Physics Laboratory, Centre for Advanced Technology, Indore 452 013, India
Hysteresis in cycling through first-order phase transitions in vortex matter, akin to the well-studied phenomenon of supercooling of water, has been discussed in literature. Hysteresis can be seen while varying either temperature T or magnetic field H (and thus the density of vortices). Our recent work on phase transitions with two control variables shows that the observable region of metastability of the supercooled phase would depend on the path followed in H-T space, and will be larger when T is lowered at constant H compared to the case when H is lowered at constant T. We discuss the effect of isothermal field variations on metastable supercooled states produced by field-cooling. This path dependence is not a priori applicable to metastability caused by reduced diffusivity or hindered kinetics.
Keywords.:Supercooling; metastability; superconductors; vortex matter; first-order transition.
Pacs No.:64.60.My; 64.70.Dv; 74.60.-w
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