The effect of a polarized conduction-electron cloud back on a magnetic impurity dissolved in a metal is studied. It is shown that at a temperature Tc much higher than the Kondo temperature the system becomes unstable against symmetry breaking and that a state with 〈Sz 〉 = 0 is established. The behaviour of 〈Sz 〉 is derived for all temperatures and magnetic fields except for a very narrow region around Tc and for very low temperatures. The minute role of Kondo-type processes in establishing the symmetry-broken state is pointed out. * permanent address: Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics
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