In this chapter the superconducting state will be described in more detail. To get a deeper insight into the physics of the superconducting state it is useful to consider first the electrical resistivity of metallic conductors. In contrast to the electrons of the completely filled inner atomic shells, the valence electrons from the uppermost atomic levels are not bound to individual atoms in the metal. These conduction electrons can move nearly freely in the background field of the positive ions. As a first approximation the conduction electrons may be regarded as free electrons. In this approximation the electron-electron interactions and the potential energy caused by the lattice of the positive ions are neglected. The Schrödinger equation for a free electron is
$$ - \frac{{{\hbar ^2}}}{{2m}}\left( {\frac{{{\partial ^2}}}{{\partial {x^2}}} + \frac{{{\partial ^2}}}{{\partial {y^2}}} + \frac{{{\partial ^2}}}{{\partial {z^2}}}} \right){\psi _k}(r) = {E_k}{\psi _k}(r) $$
where \( \hbar \) =1.0546x10-34 J s and m is the mass of the free electron. ψ k(r) is the wave function of the electron and E k the corresponding eigenvalue of the energy.


Gibbs Free Energy Magnetic Flux Applied Magnetic Field Critical Field Superconducting State 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rainer Wesche
    • 1
  1. 1.École Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneSwitzerland

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