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A [Formula presented]-wave superconductor, subject to strong phase fluctuations, is known to suffer an antiferromagnetic instability closely related to the chiral symmetry breaking in ([Formula presented])-dimensional quantum electrodynamics ([Formula presented]). Based on this idea we formulate a “ [Formula presented] in a box” theory of local instabilities of a [Formula presented]-wave superconductor in the vicinity of a single pinned vortex undergoing quantum fluctuations. As a generic outcome we find an incommensurate 2D spin density wave forming in the neighborhood of a vortex with a concomitant “checkerboard” pattern in the local electronic density of states, in agreement with recent neutron scattering and tunneling spectroscopy measurements. © 2002 The American Physical Society.

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Physical Review Letters

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