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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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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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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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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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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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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Superconductivity reasons (Intutitive)

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 in ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 af paragraph 14) [...] in order for monopoles to ...
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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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Why are Topological Superconductors hard to make?

Topological insulators (TI) have already been made in lab. Topological superconductors (TSC), being close cousins of TI, seem harder to make. Why is that? It seems that materials in connection with ...
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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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Seiberg-Witten theory and Superconductivity

There seems to have some (deep) relation between Seiberg-Witten theory and superconductivity. e.g. this Witten paper. Q: Could someone introduce the relations between the twos both physically in ...
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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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Meissner Effect for Type-II Superconductors

I was wondering whether the breakdown field strength for the Meissner effect may be attributed to the Zeeman effect? I can see the latter (along with the Stark effect) to be more analogous to electron ...
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Layman explanation for superconductivity?

I'm interested in reading an explanation of superconductivity, but though I have an undergraduate degree in engineering, I'm not sure I'm up to reading a detailed mathematical treatment of the theory. ...
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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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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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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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Why can't a superconductor make a DC motor self sustaining?

Superconducting wire can host a low current magnetic field. I do not know if it supports a corresponding electrical field. Can a superconducting wire that sustains a current accelerate a DC motor? ...
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Economical ways for Cooling liquid nitrogen

To have some fun with superconductors I am planning to buy them from here. But it requires me to cool liquid nitrogen to a temperature of 77 degrees Kelvin. Can some one tell me what kind of ...
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How does a phonon cause two electrons to attract each other and form a cooper pair?

We know that like charges repel each other. But my professor claimed that two electrons can attract each other as well. What he said was that due to screening an electron travelling at some speed ...
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Superconducting gap, temperature dependence: how to calculate this integral?

Tinkham (page 63) states that the temperature dependence of the gap energy of a superconductor $\Delta(T)$ can be calculated using the following integral: How can this actually be carried out? I am ...
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Pairing symmetry / superconducting gap symmetry

I'm not (yet :-) ) an expert on superconductors, but one term I keep hearing all the time is that of the symmetry of the gap, which can be s-wave, p-wave, d-wave etc. What exactly is the symmetry ...
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How does current flow in superconductors if Cooper pairs have zero momentum?

I've been reading a lot of condensed matter textbooks, which state both that the net momentum of a Cooper pair in a superconductor is zero, and that Cooper pairs have momentum when they carry current. ...