Research Article

A Unified Theory Based on SO(5) Symmetry of Superconductivity and Antiferromagnetism

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Science  21 Feb 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5303, pp. 1089-1096
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5303.1089

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Abstract

The complex phase diagram of high-critical temperature (Tc) superconductors can be deduced from an SO(5) symmetry principle that unifies antiferromagnetism and d-wave superconductivity. The approximate SO(5) symmetry has been derived from the microscopic Hamiltonian, and it becomes exact under renormalization group flow toward a bicritical point. This symmetry enables the construction of a SO(5) quantum nonlinear σ model that describes the phase diagram and the effective low-energy dynamics of the system. This model naturally explains the basic phenomenology of the high-Tc superconductors from the insulating to the underdoped and the optimally doped region.

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