August 24, 2006

A different Monte Carlo method

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at August 24, 2006 6:00 PM

A recent preprint appearing on the arxiv:

Do superconductors violate Lenz's law? Authors: J.E. Hirsch

When a magnetic field is turned on, a superconducting body acquires an angular momentum in direction opposite to the applied field. This gyromagnetic effect has been established experimentally and is understood theoretically. However, the corresponding situation when a superconductor is cooled in a pre-existent field has not been examined. We argue that the conventional theory of superconductivity does not allow a prediction for the outcome of that experiment that does not violate fundamental laws of physics, in particular Lenz's law. Instead, an unconventional theory of superconductivity predicts an outcome consistent with the laws of physics, through the creation of angular momentum. We discuss how to test these assertions experimentally.

The argument, which I'm not sure I buy, relates to the angular momentum in the body of a superconductor when magnetic fields are expelled in the Meissner effect. But the author challenges me to put money behind my skepticism with this:
Comments: Readers are invited to place a wager on the outcome of the proposed experiment, this http URL

Yes! Now you can gamble on experimental physics! Next: bribing experimentalists to throw the results.

Tags: Games, Physics

This is the same Hirsch who created the utterly asinine h-index (which he presumably named after himself) to characterize scientific productivity.

At this point, my first inclination when I see a paper by him is to not trust its scientific worth.

Posted by: Mason | August 24, 2006 11:05 PM
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