High-temperature superconductors are one of the most active and exciting areas of condensed matter physics research. From high-quality thin-films to friction-less transportation, their applications in industries such as telecommunications, environment and geology, medicine, nuclear physics, and security are just the beginning.
The Rise of the Superconductors is an ideological chronology of the science that has produced superconductors. Beginning with the first liquefaction of helium, the book presents the discovery of the Meissner effect and the development of type II superconductors before discussing the impact of Bednorz and Müller's Nobel prize-winning research in high temperature ceramic superconductors. Authors seamlessly introduce the rise of Tc materials, whose layer-like nature, anisotropic behavior, and other properties are discussed in Chapter 4. The next chapter is devoted to the discovery, development, and characteristics of organic superconductors, particularly in fullerene materials, whose discovery earned the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996.
The authors then examine the properties and theoretical developments explaining the behavior of simple superconductors, highlighting their impact on theoretical physics. Subsequent chapters analyze the technological advances, production challenges, and future directions of large- and small-scale applications, Josephson effects, the development of SQUID technology, and the specific behavior of high temperature superconductors. The Rise of the Superconductors concludes with a brief look at the struggle for technical superiority between the U.S. and Japan, European contributions, and commentary on the current state of the art.
Table of Contents
The long road to the discovery of superconductivity
Superconductivity reveals its mysteries
The breakthrough to high temperature superconductivity
Structure of the cuprates. CuO2 layers: the genie for high temperature superconductivity
A diversion: quantum mechanics, atoms and the free electron theory of metals
What causes superconductivity?
The giant quantum state and Josephson effects
Applications of superconductors: enabling technologies of the 21st century
Electronic applications of high temperature superconductors
Organic superconductors enter the race for the top
The continuing search for the physical origin of high-temperature superconductivity
The way forward?
"An excellent introduction to a fascinating area of condensed matter physics should benefit the novice and the experienced reader … . The authors deal well with the large amount of research in what has been one of the most intensively investigated areas of physics in the last 18 years."
- Materials Today, Vol. 8, No. 9, Sept. 2005