Condensation energy and the mechanism of superconductivity

Condensation energy in a superconductor cannot be precisely defined if mean-field theory fails
to hold. This implies that in the case of high temperature superconductors, discussions of quantitative
measures of condensation energy must be scrutinized carefully, because the normal state
is anomalous and the applicability of a mean-field description can be questioned. A related issue
discussed here is the precise meaning of a superconducting transition driven by kinetic as opposed
to one driven by potential energy; we argue that this is a semantic question.

Sudip Chakravarty,1 Hae-Young Kee,2 and Elihu Abrahams3
1Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
2Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1A7
3Center for Materials Theory, Serin Physics Laboratory, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854