On the Excitations of a Balian-Werthamer Superconductor
J. A. Sauls
Center for Applied Physics and Superconducting Technologies
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208,
Journal of Low Temperature Physics, 208, 1/2, 87-118 (2022)
My contribution to this collection of articles in honor of David Lee and John Reppy on their 90th birthdays is a reflection on the remarkable phenomenology of the excitation spectra of superfluid 3He, in particular the B-phase which was identified by NMR and acoustic spectroscopy as Balian-Werthamer state shown in 1963 to be the ground state of a spin-triplet, p-wave superconductor within weak-coupling BCS theory. The superfluid phases of 3He provide paradigms for electronic superconductors with broken space-time symmetries and non-trivial ground-state topology. Indeed broken spin- and orbital rotation symmetries lead to a rich spectrum of collective modes of the order parameter that can be detected using NMR, acoustic and microwave spectroscopies. The topology of the BW state implies its low-temperature, low-energy transport properties are dominated by gapless Majorana modes confined on boundaries or interfaces. Given the central role the BW state played I discuss the acoustic and electromagnetic signatures of the BW state, the latter being relevant if an electronic analog of superfluid 3He-B is realized.
- Comment: 32 pages, 5 figures plus Appendix
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