A method of studying magnetic properties in alternating fields and its application to the intermediate state of a superconducting sphere are described. It is shown that the behaviour of the sphere in alternating fields of frequencies between 10 and 100 is different from that in very slowly varying fields, the difference becoming less for lower frequencies and for smaller radius. When the specimen is in the intermediate state, energy losses are produced in it by the alternating field, showing that the induced currents are out of phase with the alternating field. The induced currents do not, however, flow in the same way as in a homogeneous isotropic conductor, and this is probably on account of an anisotropic structure of the specimen when in the intermediate state. This structure depends strongly on the amplitude of the alternating field in such a way that the effective average conductivity is increased with decreasing amplitude, and this amplitude effect depends on the size of the specimen. Evidence is given for a time lag in the magnetocaloric effect, and this time lag decreases with decrease of the size of the specimen, being of order sec. for a sphere of about 1 cm. diameter.
In conclusion I wish to thank Prof. Lord Rutherford and Dr Cockcroft for their interest in this work; Dr Peierls for suggesting the experiment and for much valuable advice and assistance; Mr Shire for advice on some technical points; and various members of the staff of the Royal Society Mond Laboratory for help in the measurements.