Chapter

Introduction

Richard A Klemm

in Layered Superconductors

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199593316
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738128 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199593316.003.0001

Series: International Series of Monographs on Physics

Introduction

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The Introduction provides a historical perspective, beginning with the basic differences between semiconductors, insulators, and metals. Metals are not only much better conductors of electricity, they exhibit a Fermi surface. It describes the discovery of superconductivity, in which the resistance of a metal drops to zero below the superconducting transition temperature, and the long quest to raise it, culminating in the discovery in 1986 of high-temperature superconductivity. It summarizes the continuing developments in the field since then. It then introduces the Meissner effect, in which the magnetic induction is expelled from the superconductor, the thermodynamic critical field, the thermodynamics of and differences between type-I and type-II superconductors, and describes qualitatively the magnetic vortices present in type-II superconductors in the mixed state.

Keywords: discovery; Meissner effect; high-temperature superconductivity; metal; Fermi surface; type-I superconductors; type-II superconductors; magnetic vortices

Chapter.  7219 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Condensed Matter Physics

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