Typical versus average helicity modulus in the three-dimensional gauge glass: Understanding the vortex glass phase Academic Article uri icon


  • We numerically compute the helicity modulus of the three-dimensional gauge glass by Monte Carlo simulations. Because the average free energy is independent of a twist angle, it is expected that the average helicity modulus, directly related to the superfluid density, vanishes when simulations are performed with periodic boundary conditions. This is not necessarily the case for the typical (median) value, which is nonzero, because the distribution of the helicity modulus among different disorder realizations is very asymmetric. We show that the data for the helicity modulus distribution are well described by a generalized extreme-value distribution with a nonzero location parameter (most probable value). A finite-size scaling analysis of the location parameter yields a critical temperature and critical exponents in agreement with previous results. This suggests that the location parameter is a good observable. There have been conflicting claims as to whether the superfluid density vanishes in the vortex glass phase, with Fisher [Phys. Rev. B 43, 130 (1991)] arguing that it is finite and Korshunov [Phys. Rev. B 63, 174514 (2001)] predicting that it is zero. Because the gauge glass is commonly used to describe the vortex glass in high-temperature superconductors, we discuss this issue in light of our results on the gauge glass. © 2007 The American Physical Society.

author list (cited authors)

  • Katzgraber, H. G., Würtz, D., & Blatter, G.

citation count

  • 3

publication date

  • June 2007