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Simulations of arrays of resistively shunted Josephson junctions containing a crack of uncoupled junctions indicate that the crack can distort the supercurrent flow and provide a nucleation site at the crack tip for the formation of superconducting vortices at applied currents below the critical current of the homogeneous material. An analogy is established between the supercurrent distribution in two dimensions and the stress field distribution around the crack for antiplane mechanical loading. The analogy is used to show that the supercurrent distribution can be described analytically in terms of a Westergaard function used in elasticity theory. In addition, using a correspondence between the forces acting on a vortex and a crystal dislocation, models for screw dislocation emission from a crack tip are transposed to describe vortex emission from a crack tip. These lead to predictions for the pinning force required to prevent dissipation by vortex emission from the crack tip, as well as for the size of a vortex zone ahead of the crack for different values of the ratio of the applied current to the pinning force.
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