Superconductivity is the transmission of current with no resistive losses, and is one of the most active areas of condensed matter physics research.

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Why is high temperature superconductivity so hard to solve?

The phenomenon of high temperature superconductivity has been known for decades, particularly layered cuprate superconductors. We know the precise lattice structure of the materials. We know the band ...
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Is an electron a superconductor?

A superconductor has zero resistance. What about an electron in a vacuum? Could this simple system be considered superconducting?
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What observables are indicative of BCS Cooper pair condensation?

What observables are indicative of BCS Cooper pair condensation? "Thought" experiments and "numerical" experiments are allowed. This question is motivated by the question Has BCS Cooper pair ...
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Should a superconductor act as a perfect mirror?

I have been told that metals are good reflectors because they are good conductors. Since Electric fields in conductors cause the electrons to move until they cancel out the field, there really can't ...
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Can a superconducting wire conduct unlimited current?

A superconducting wire has no electrical resistance and as such it does not heat up when current passes through it. Non-superconducting wires can be damaged by too much current, because they get too ...
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What is a $p_x + i p_y$ superconductor? Relation to topological superconductors

I often read about s-wave and p-wave superconductors. In particular a $p_x + i p_y$ superconductor - often mentioned in combination with topological superconductors. I understand that the overall ...
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Shine a light into a superconductor

A type-I superconductor can expel almost all magnetic flux (below some critical value $H_c$) from its interior when superconducting. Light as we know is an electromagnetic wave. So what would happen ...
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How can Ohm's law be correct if superconductors have 0 resistivity?

Ohm's law states that the relationship between current ( I ) voltage ( V ) and resistance ( R ) is $$I = \frac{V}{R}$$ However superconductors cause the resistance of a material to go to zero, and ...
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Usage of helium in MRIs

More and more articles pop up on the shortage of helium, and on the importance of it. Its usage in MRI's spring to mind for example. I looked it up and found out that helium is used for its 'low ...
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Intuitive reasons for superconductivity

Superconductivity I read in a book "Physics - Resnik and Halliday" the explanation of Type-I Superconductors {cold ones} that: The Electrons that make up current at super-cool temperatures move ...
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Do topological superconductors exhibit symmetry-enriched topological order?

Gapped Hamiltonians with a ground-state having long-range entanglement (LRE), are said to have topological order (TO), while if the ground state is short-range entangled (SRE) they are in the trivial ...
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Synthesis of Fe-based superconductors

Polycrystal cuprate superconductors are generally prepared by solid state reactions: Starting reagents are in powder form, they are mixed to each other and placed into furnace on high temperature (...
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Is current in superconductors infinite? If they have 0 resistance then I (V/R) should be infinite? [duplicate]

I learned many years ago that according to Ohm's law, current is equal to voltage divided by resistance. Now if superconductors have zero resistance then the current should be infinite. Moreover the ...
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Monopoles and the magnetic Higgs mechanism

In a paper of 't Hooft about the rôle of magnetic monopoles for a model of quark confinement, I don't understand the following sentence (end at paragraph 14) [...] in order for monopoles to ...
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Why is there a band structure for strongly correlated systems?

The existence of band structure of a crystalline solid comes from the Bloch theorem, which relies on the independent-electron approximation. Why do people still talk about the band structure for a ...
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Has Chandra Varma explained cuprate superconductivity?

Chandra Varma is a theoretical physicist at University of California, Riverside. A couple years ago, he gave a talk at my institution purporting to explain superconductivity in the cuprates. It all ...
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How do superconducting materials float in magnetic field?

The movie Avatar got me interested in the subject, but so far I only found sophisticated articles loaded with unfamiliar words. Is there a simple way to explain how magnetic field affects ...
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What does the term liquid mean in condensed matter physics?

In condensed matter physics, people always say quantum liquid or spin liquid. What does liquid mean?
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How come a photon acts like it has mass in a superconducting field?

I've heard the Higgs mechanism explained as analogous to the reason that a photon acts like it has mass in a superconducting field. However, that's not too helpful if I don't understand the latter. ...
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What is the RC time constant in a superconductor?

In conventional conductors, the RC time constant is the time required to charge or discharge a capacitor through a resistor by ≈ 63.2 percent of the difference between the initial value and final ...
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Nambu-Goldstone bosons from a quantum anomaly symmetry breaking?

We know that: Nambu-Goldstone bosons come from Goldstone theorem: a spontaneous (continuous)-symmetry breaking of the system leads to massless scalar modes. quantum anomaly: is the anomalous ...
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Experimental signature of topological superconductor

I was wondering if someone can provides some clear experimental signatures of a topological superconductors ? I was thinking about that, because for topological insulator, one of the hallmarks is ...
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What does “particle number conservation” mean in condensed matter physics?

What exactly does it imply about a condensed matter system to have particle number conserved or not conserved? For example, why does the superconducting phase break particle number conservation while ...
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Can superconducting magnets fly (or repel the earth's core)?

If a superconducting magnet and appropriate power supply had just enough $I\cdot s$ (current $\cdot$ length) so that when it was perpendicular to the earth's magnetic field, the force of the ...
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Why aren't superconductors shiny? [duplicate]

Superconductors are really good at conducting electricity. Should they not reflect light very well too?
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Are there topological non-trivial states in zero dimension?

The periodic table of topological insulators and superconductors suggests that there can be topological non-trivial phases in zero dimension in non-interacting system with certain symmetries. A 0D ...
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Is the uniqueness theorem correct in superconductivity?

There is an uniqueness theorem in electromagnetism. It says that the solution of Maxwell's Equations is determined uniquely by boundary conditions. We can treat superconductivity as a completely ...
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Is a superconductor really a super conductor?

It is known that a superconductor is a material with electrical resistance zero. My question is, it is exactly zero, a theoretical zero, or for practical realistic reasons it is effectively zero?
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A better conceptual model for cooper pairs in a superconductor

The conceptual model I have been introduced to for cooper pairs in a bulk superconductor is what I would call the "wake" model, where one electron deforms the positively charged lattice, changing the ...
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Relativistic drift velocity of electrons in a superconductor?

Is there a formula for the effective speed of electron currents inside superconductors? The formula for normal conductors is: $$ V = \frac{I}{nAq}$$ I wonder if there are any changes to this ...
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Is there a database or a classification of High-temperature superconductors?

I was wondering if there exists a list with all (or most of) the High-$T_c$ superconductor materials. In particular I'd like to know if there are databases or review that classifies them by their ...
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How far away are we from resolving high temperature superconductivity?

What are the major recent findings and their corresponding contributions to an overall picture? How well explained are the various regions of the dome, is there any thing that is pretty well ...
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What is the Difference Between BCS Theory and Ginzburg-Landau Theory?

What is the Difference Between BCS Theory and Ginzburg-Landau Theory? I have been studying Superconductivity and I know that Both of the theories (BCS Theory and Ginzburg-Landau Theory) can be used ...
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How is stable levitation possible?

This question is with reference to the video in this blog post: http://www.universetoday.com/90183/quantum-levitation-and-the-superconductor/ My question is the following: how is the disc stable in ...
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Validity of mean-field approximation

In mean-field approximation we replace the interaction term of the Hamiltonian by a term, which is quadratic in creation and annihilation operators. For example, in the case of the BCS theory, where $...
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Intuitive explanation to why superconductivity breaks at high temperatures

I was recently caught up in a situation where I tried to explain to someone with only vary basic knowledge of physics (notion of atoms and electrons, etc.) what causes superconductivity. One thing I ...
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How does quantum trapping with diamagnets work?

I just saw this demonstration by someone from a Tel Aviv University lab. What they achieved there is mind blowing. I myself own a levitron that uses the Hall effect to levitate a magnet, the problem ...
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BCS wave function in Neutron stars

I've heard mentioned in various classes that neutron stars, like superconductors, are described by BCS theory. I know that in superconductors a key element in forming cooper pairs is a net attractive ...
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Why is the AdS/CFT approach to superconductors rarely cited in condensed matter publications?

Let me put things into perspective by comparing with other applications of string theory. Nowadays review papers written by cosmologists about inflation models often discuss string theory scenarios ...
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How can I put a permanent current into a superconducting loop?

I know that you can use induction to create a current in a superconducting loop, but this only works as long as the coil that induces the field has a current flowing through it. And obviously, this ...
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Measuring the spin of a single electron

Is it possible to measure the spin of a single electron? What papers have been published on answering this question? Would the measurement require a super sensitive SQUID, Superconductive Quantum ...
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Aharonov-Bohm Effect and Flux Quantization in superconductors

Why is the magnetic flux not quantized in a standard Aharonov-Bohm (infinite) solenoid setup, whereas in a superconductor setting, flux is quantized?
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Maximum electron-phonon coupling SC temperature

In many articles and web pages I found people claiming that the maximum critical temperature for superconductivity in the BCS framework is about 40K. Sometime, more accurate writers report that the ...
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Why do superconductors have a maximum current density?

If superconductors have no resistance, what prevents you making the cross-section as small as you can handle, if there will be no power dissipated anyhow? Is there a limit on the magnetic field that ...
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To what extent can the superconducting order parameter be thought of as a macroscopic wavefunction?

I know that the order parameter does not obey the Schrodinger equation; it instead obeys the Ginzburg-Landau equation. However, I am unclear as to the situations under which the view of the ...
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Superconducting Wavefunction Phase (Feynman Lectures)

In Volume 3, Section 21-5 of the Feynman lectures (superconductivity), Feynman makes a step that I can't quite follow. To start, he writes the wavefunction of the ground state in the following form (...
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Charge balance and Bogoliubov quasiparticles

Before trying to understand charge imbalance in superconductors (eg Hübler et al., Phys. Rev. B 81, 184524, Quay et al., Nature Physics 9,84–88 (2013)) I thought I had better check I understand the ...
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Flywheel energy storage: Why not use room temperature diamagnets instead of superconductors?

Flywheel energy storage has garnered some interest from academia and industry for its potential to store surplus electrical energy efficiently in kinetic form. Modern designs use magnetic bearings ...
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Real part of the AC conductivity has a discrete spectrum => What physics?

If the real part of the AC conductivity $\text{Re}[\sigma(\omega)]$ has a discrete spectrum only, i.e., $\text{Re}[\sigma(\omega)]=a_1\delta(\omega-\omega_1)+a_2\delta(\omega-\omega_2)+\cdots,$ what ...
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TQFT's as effective theories of the groundstate subspace

I often hear: "The degenerate groundstate subspace of a QFT is often a TQFT". I'm trying to work out an example of this for, say, superconductors: In the context of condensed matter physics, the ...