We report on a direct kinetic measurement of Cooper-pair breaking in superconducting lead. A 100-fs pulse of visible light was used to excite a thin-film lead sample, while the Cooper-pair density was optically probed using an ultrashort pulse of broadband far-infrared radiation. Subsequent to the absorption of the visible light, a rapid (<1 ps) change in the far-infrared optical transmission was observed, corresponding to the breaking of Cooper pairs and the collapse of the superconducting gap.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics