Superconductivity: A Very Short Introduction
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Superconductivity--the flow of electric current without resistance in certain materials as temperatures near absolute zero--is one of the greatest discoveries of 20th century physics, but it can seem impenetrable to those who lack a solid scientific background. Outlining the fascinating history of how superconductivity was discovered, and the race to understand its many mysterious and counter-intuitive phenomena, Stephen Blundell explains in accessible terms the theories that have been developed to explain it, and how they have influenced other areas of science, including the Higgs boson of particle physics and ideas about the early Universe. This Very Short Introduction examines the many strange phenomena observed in superconducting materials, the latest developments in high-temperature superconductivity, the potential of superconductivity to revolutionize the physics and technology of the future, and much more. It is a fascinating detective story, offering invaluable insights into some of the deepest and most beautiful ideas in physics today.
About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.
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eerily in mid-air. We will see later that this leads to a number of important applications. The discovery of the Meissner effect was clearly signiﬁcant. But what did Meissner and Ochsenfeld’s results mean? Understanding the Meissner effect One of the ﬁrst people to appreciate the signiﬁcance of the Meissner effect was Cornelis Jacobus Gorter who had studied physics in Leiden and ﬁnished his doctoral work with de Haas in 1932. Gorter had moved to Haarlem and started to think about the
formulate. Superconductivity Landau was not convinced and advanced an argument that the beautiful ‘gauge invariance’ of their theory would fall apart if e* was taken to be anything other than e. In the event, it turned out from the BCS theory that, because of the pairing of electrons, the charge of the superconducting carrier was precisely twice the electronic charge. Furthermore, the BCS theory showed how the ‘gauge invariance’ of the theory could be maintained. As Ginzburg put it later,
changed the formula of the compound in his manuscript, substituting ytterbium (chemical symbol Yb) for yttrium (chemical symbol Y), and also slightly altered the ratio of chemical constituents. He then waited until the journal said that his manuscript had been accepted, and then he waited for the manuscript proofs. At the last moment before publication occurred, he sent the journal the corrected version so that the ﬁnal published version was correct. In a delicious irony, it turned out that the
off-peak power and thus stores the energy as rotational kinetic energy. To make this technique work, you need frictionless bearings and here superconductors can be employed. Using the effect of levitation that comes from the Meissner effect, it is possible to make non-contact frictionless bearings. Superconductivity track and this can add to the cost. The land speed record for a railed vehicle is currently held by the Japanese Maglev train which reached 581km/h (361mph) in 2003 on the