Journal of Superconductivity and Novel Magnetism

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 309–317

Electromotive Forces and the Meissner Effect Puzzle


    • Department of PhysicsUniversity of California
Open AccessOriginal Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10948-009-0531-4

Cite this article as:
Hirsch, J.E. J Supercond Nov Magn (2010) 23: 309. doi:10.1007/s10948-009-0531-4


In a voltaic cell, positive (negative) ions flow from the low (high) potential electrode to the high (low) potential electrode, driven by an ‘electromotive force’ which points in opposite direction and overcomes the electric force. Similarly in a superconductor charge flows in direction opposite to that dictated by the Faraday electric field as the magnetic field is expelled in the Meissner effect. The puzzle is the same in both cases: what drives electric charges against electromagnetic forces? I propose that the answer is the same in both cases: kinetic energy lowering, or ‘quantum pressure.’


Meissner effectQuantum pressureLorentz force
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© The Author(s) 2009