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Physics  2010 

Violation of Onsager Reciprocity in Underdoped Cuprates ?

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One of the canons of condensed matter physics is the Onsager Reciprocity principle in systems in which the Hamiltonian commutes with the time-reversal operator. Recent results of measurements of the Nernst coefficient in underdoped YBa_2Cu_30_{6+x}, together with the measurements of the anisotropy of conductivity and the inferred anisotropy of the thermopower, imply that this principle is violated. The probable violation and its temperature dependence are shown to be consistent with the Loop-current phase which has been directly observed in other experiments. The violation is related directly to the magneto-electric symmetry of such a phase in which an applied electric field generates an effective magnetic field at right angle to it and to the order parameter vector, and vice versa.


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