Observation of broken time-reversal symmetry in the heavy-fermion superconductor UPt3

E. R. Schemm, W. J. Gannon, C. M. Wishne, W. P. Halperin, A. Kapitulnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

183 Scopus citations


Models of superconductivity in unconventional materials can be experimentally differentiated by the predictions they make for the symmetries of the superconducting order parameter. In the case of the heavy-fermion superconductor UPt3, a key question is whether its multiple superconducting phases preserve or break time-reversal symmetry (TRS). We tested for asymmetry in the phase shift between left and right circularly polarized light reflected from a single crystal of UPt3 at normal incidence and found that this so-called polar Kerr effect appears only below the lower of the two zero-field superconducting transition temperatures. Our results provide evidence for broken TRS in the low-temperature superconducting phase of UPt 3, implying a complex two-component order parameter for superconductivity in this system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-193
Number of pages4
Issue number6193
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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