Superconductivity: A Time Region Phenomenon

Reciprocity XIX #3, Autumn, 1990

1. Introduction

The chief characteristic of superconductivity is the complete absence of the electrical resistance. As the temperature is decreased, the change from the normal to the superconducting state takes place abruptly at a critical temperature Tc. Though the phenomenon was discovered as far back as 1911, it resisted all theoretical understanding and not until 1957 was the famous BCS theory (Bardeen, Cooper, and Schrieffer) propounded. According to this theory, superconductivity occurs when the repulsive interaction between two electrons is overcome by an attractive one, resulting from a mechanism which gives rise to electron pairs since then known to be called the “Cooper Pairs”—that behaved like bosons and moved without resistance.

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