Experiments in superconducting vortex avalanches

E. Altshuler*, T. H. Johansen, Y. Paltiel, P. Jin, K. E. Bassler, O. Ramos, G. F. Reiter, E. Zeldov, C. W. Chu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We detect vortex avalanches in superconducting Nb when an external field is slowly ramped up. Through the combination of micro-Hall probe magnetometry and Magneto-optical imaging, we are able to visualize the magnetic field "landscape" where the "local" vortex avalanches take place. We measure the avalanche size statistics at several locations in the magnetic landscape, comprising a number of events orders of magnitude larger than previously reported. The distributions of avalanche sizes show a nearly power-law character, and their details are strikingly independent from the specific features of the "magnetic landscape" where they take place. Some experiments in order to find spatial-temporal correlations between avalanches are also presented.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)501-504
Number of pages4
JournalPhysica C: Superconductivity and its Applications
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the International Conference on Materials - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: 25 May 200330 May 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank support from the World Laboratory Center for Pan-American Collaboration in Science and Technology, the Research Council of Norway, the National Science Foundation, the Israel Science Foundation––Center of Excellence Program, the “Alma Mater” grants program (University of Havana), the Department of Energy (USA) and the ACLS/SSRC study group on Cuba.


  • Avalanches
  • Critical state
  • Self-organized criticality
  • Vortex dynamics


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