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Physics  2006 

Thermodynamic transitions in inhomogeneous cuprate superconductors

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Scanning tunneling spectroscopy studies on Bi$_2$Sr$_2$CaCu$_2$O$_{8+\delta}$ suggest the presence of electronic inhomogeneity with a large spatial variation in gap size. Andersen {\it et al} have modelled this variation by assuming a spatially-varying pairing interaction. We show that their calculated specific heat is incompatible with the experimental data which exhibit narrow transitions. This calls into question the now-common assumption of gap and pairing inhomogeneity.


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