Sorry guys I really don't understand the idea of vortex in superconductor, why superconductors type II have vortices ?

Thanks in advance!

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Do you mean an Abrikosov vortex? Have you tried Googling them? Can you be more specific about what you don't understand? $\endgroup$ Nov 25, 2015 at 16:24
  • $\begingroup$ @petersmith Type II superconductor have 3 types of vortices, as far as i understand it, vortices are structural defects, but how this defects so special in superconductor? $\endgroup$
    – Raldenors
    Nov 26, 2015 at 2:45
  • $\begingroup$ They are special because they are defect of the order parameter. They retain quantised flux inside the superconductor. I've never heard about three different kind of vertex. This question deserve details to be answered. Please first read -- at least -- wikipedia and references therein and then come back with a precise question that we might hope to answer. At the moment, it seems that you're asking "why type-I superconductors don't have vortices ?" $\endgroup$
    – FraSchelle
    Nov 26, 2015 at 16:30

1 Answer 1


If you use the Ginzburg-Landau theory for superconductivity you obtain two length scales:

  • Coherence length $\xi$
  • Penetration depth $\lambda$

Depending on the ratio between this two lengths ($\kappa = \lambda/\xi$) it will be energetically favourable or not to create superconductor-normal conductor interfaces when increasing the applied magnetic field. Therefore we have two types of superconductors:

  • Type I: $\kappa \in (0,1\sqrt{2})$. Does not create superconductor-normal conductor interfaces.
  • Type II: $\kappa > 1\sqrt{2}$. Creates superconductor-normal conductor interfaces (vortices)

You can check Wikipedia for more details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginzburg%E2%80%93Landau_theory


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