Introduction to Section A2: Fundamental Properties

Authored by: Alexander V. Gurevich

Handbook of Superconductivity

Print publication date:  July  2022
Online publication date:  July  2022

Print ISBN: 9781439817322
eBook ISBN: 9780429179181
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/9780429179181-6

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Abstract

Superconducting state of materials cooled below a critical transition temperature T c has distinct physical properties, such as the loss of electrical resistivity to the flow of dc current, the Meissner–Ochsenfeld (M–O) effect, and anomalies in magnetization, thermal conductivity, microwave response, and specific heat. These features result from the fundamental macroscopic phase coherence of the superconducting state, which also manifests itself in the Josephson effect, magnetic flux quantization, and the vortex state in type II superconductors. While the BCS theory, in which superconductivity results from the Bose condensation of Cooper pairs glued together by the electron–phonon interaction, captures the essential physics of conventional low-T c materials, quantitative calculations of superconducting properties require taking into account effects of strong electron–phonon coupling in the Eliashberg theory. These theories are generally not applicable to the high-T c cuprates or iron-based superconductors in which superconductivity primarily occurs due to strong electron and magnetic correlations. Section A2 provides an introduction to superconducting phenomena and their relationship to the normal state materials properties. Nine sections describe the main features of the superconducting state, including the phenomenology of superconductivity, the M–O effect, the loss of superconductivity due to the applied magnetic field, the microscopic BCS theory, thermodynamic, thermal and high-frequency electromagnetic properties of superconductors, flux quantization, magnetic vortices, and the Josephson effects.

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