The Ginzburg-Landau model is a phenomenological description of superconductivity. A crucial feature is the occurrence of vortices (similar to those in fluid mechanics, but quantized), which appear above a certain value of the strength of the applied magnetic field called the first critical field. In this talk I will present a sharp estimate of this value and describe the behavior of global minimizers for the 3D Ginzburg-Landau functional below and near it. This is partially joint work with Etienne Sandier and Sylvia Serfaty.
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