Random Field XY Model in Three Dimensions: The Role of Vortices (The role of vortices in the three-dimensional random-field xy model)
We study vortex states in a 3d random-field XY model of up to one billion lattice spins. Starting with random spin orientations, the sample freezes into the vortex-glass state with a stretched-exponential decay of spin correlations, having short correlation length and a low susceptibility, compared to vortex-free states. In a field opposite to the initial magnetization, peculiar topological objects -- walls of spins still opposite to the field -- emerge along the hysteresis curve. On increasing the field strength, the walls develop cracks bounded by vortex loops. The loops then grow in size and eat the walls away. Applications to magnets and superconductors are discussed.