2018 Superconductivity

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Physics
Okuma Satoshi 
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Course description and aims

When superconductors are cooled to extremely low temperatures, the electrical resistance goes to zero and they show electrical and magnetic properties that are not seen in usual metals. Students will learn that the reason lies in quantum nature appearing on a macroscopic scale. In this course, after getting an overview of various properties of superconductivity, students will study superfluidity and Bose-Einstein condensation, the macroscopic description of superconductivity called the GL theory, the microscopic one called the BCS theory, electrodynamics of superconductivity, magnetic properties, such as, quantized flux in type-II superconductors: they will also study unconventional superconductivity and the latest topics related to superconductivity.

Student learning outcomes

[Learning outcomes] Students will learn fundamentals of physics on superconductivity, which is a macroscopic quantum phenomenon that appears at low temperatures.

[Theme] This course focuses on unusual electrical, magnetic, and thermodynamic properties that superconductors show at low enough temperatures. Students are expected to understand the underlying physics and learn how to describe them.


Bose-Einstein condensation, zero resistance, Meissner effect, macroscopic quantum phenomenon, London equations, GL theory, BCS theory, quantized flux, type-I/type-II superconductors, Josephson effect, SQUID, unconventional superconductors

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Handouts will be distributed at the beginning of each class. Students are given exercise problems related to the lecture to better understand the contents. The midterm exam (45 min) is scheduled during the regular lecture period.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Properties of superconductivity Explain characteristic properties of superconductors.
Class 2 Bose-Einstein condensation - Superfluidity and superconductivity Explain the concept of Bose-Einstein condensation and its relation to superfluidity and superconductivity.
Class 3 Macroscopic (phenomenological) description of superconductivity - the GL theory Explain how the GL theory describes the superconducting properties near Tc.
Class 4 Microscopic description of superconductivity - the BCS theory(1) Calculate the BCS ground-state energy.
Class 5 Microscopic description of superconductivity - the BCS theory(2) Explain thermodynamic quantities of superconductors deduced from the BCS theory.
Class 6 Electrodynamics of superconductors Describe the basic equations for electrodynamics of superconductivity.
Class 7 Magnetic properties of type-II superconductors Explain why each magnetic flux in type-II superconductors is quantized and the flux lines form the lattice.
Class 8 Recent topics on superconductivity, Unconventional superconductivity Specify the examples of unconventional superconductors and explain their characteristics.


To be specified by the instructor.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

To be specified by the instructor. Handouts will be distributed.

Assessment criteria and methods

Based on exams and reports.

Related courses

  • PHY.C442 : Superfluidity
  • PHY.C444 : Quantum Transport

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

No prerequisites.


This lecture will be given partially in English in 2018. Personal backup lectures can be given to IGP students.

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