PROBING GAUGE STRING FORMATION IN A SUPERCONDUCTING PHASE TRANSITION
International Journal of Modern Physics A
Superconductors are the only experimentally accessible systems with spontaneously broken gauge symmetries which support topologically nontrivial defects, namely string defects. We propose two experiments whose aim is the observation of the dense network of these strings thought to arise, via the Kibble mechanism, in the course of a spontaneous symmetry breaking phase transition. We suggest ways to estimate the order of magnitude of the density of flux tubes produced in the phase transition.
... may provide an experimental check for the theories of the production of topological defects in a spontaneously broken gauge theory, such as those employed in the context of the early Universe.