Dynamics of the normal-superconductor phase transition and the puzzle of the Meissner effect

arxiv: 1504.05190 (2015), Annals of Physics 362, 1 (2015).

The analysis of Pippard for the growth of the normal phase into the superconducting phase in the presence of a magnetic field H>Hc is applied in reverse to the case H<Hc (Hc=critical magnetic field). We carry out the analysis both for a planar and a cylindrical geometry. As the superconducting phase grows into the normal phase, a supercurrent is generated at the superconductor-normal phase boundary that flows in direction opposite to the Faraday electric field resulting from the moving phase boundary. This supercurrent motion is in direction opposite to what is dictated by the Lorentz force on the current carriers, and in addition requires that mechanical momentum of opposite sign be tranferred to the system as a whole to ensure momentum conservation. In the cylindrical geometry case, a macroscopic torque of unknown origin acts on the body as a whole as the magnetic field is expelled. We argue that the conventional BCS-London theory of superconductivity cannot explain these facts, and that as a consequence the Meissner effect remains unexplained within the conventional theory of superconductivity. We propose that the Meissner effect can only be understood by assuming that there is motion of charge in direction perpendicular to the normal-superconductor phase boundary and point out that the unconventional theory of hole superconductivity describes this physics.