University of Maryland

Department of Physics

Spring 2004                 Prof. Steven Anlage

Physics 798S


Physics 798S: Superconductivity: An introduction to the phenomenology and theory of superconductivity.  This is a 3 credit course.  There are three hours of lecture per week.



Graduate quantum mechanics.  An undergraduate or (preferably) graduate course in solid-state or condensed matter physics will also be helpful.



Prof. Steven Anlage, Room 1367 (Physics/Superconductivity Center).  You can find the Superconductivity Center either by 1) going through the blue door labeled “Center for Superconductivity Research” in the basement of the physics building, or

2) entering from the plaza between the Math and Physics buildings. 

Phone: 5-7321, e-mail:



Two lectures weekly,

TuTh 2:00 to 3:15 PM in Room Z-1402


Required Text:

J. R. Waldram, Superconductivity of Metals and Cuprates, Institute of Physics Publishing, Bristol and Philadelphia, 1996.

Other useful books are:

1)  M. Tinkham, Introduction to Superconductivity, Second Edition, McGraw-Hill.  This book is currently out of print, but will be republished by Dover in May, 2004.

2)  Terry P. Orlando and Kevin A. Delin, Foundations of Applied Superconductivity, Addison-Wesley, Reading MA, 1991.


See the class web site for a bibliography of books on superconductivity.



Homework will be assigned at least every other week.  It is imperative that you do the homework and keep up with the material being covered in lecture.  I may assign two students to write up solutions to each of the homework assignments.  You may work together on the homework assignments, but what you submit for grading should be in your own hand


Class Web Site:

A class web site will announce all homework assignments, and have general class information available.  The web site can be found under “Physics 798S” at:  Please check the web site periodically.


Office Hours:

Prof. Anlage’s office hours are W 1 - 3 PM.  You are strongly encouraged to attend office hours and discuss the course material, homework, etc. 


Key Dates:

The last day to adjust schedule is April 9.


Final Grade:

Based approximately on homework (~50%), and semester paper on a topic in superconductivity (~50%). Active class and office hour participation (i.e. asking questions!) will improve your chances of obtaining a high letter grade.


Tentative Course Outline:

1)       Introduction – Basic phenomena, perfect conductivity, perfect diamagnetism, critical temperature, fields, and currents, type-I and type-II, high-temperature superconductors, applications.

2)       Simplest theory: perfect conductivity, the London equations, and the macroscopic quantum model.

3)       Microscopic theory: Second quantization and BCS theory.  Cooper pairing instability, quasiparticles, the energy gap.

4)       Ginzburg-Landau (GL) theory: general Landau and GL theories, application to superconductors.

5)       GL theory and type-II superconductors (conventional and high-temperature.)  Critical currents and fields, vortices, flux flow, flux creep, the critical state model.

6)       Fluctuation effects in low and high-Tc superconductors: GL theory, Kosterlitz-Thouless transition, scaling, vortex phase transitions.

7)       Josephson effect: Basic equations, shunted junction models, SQUIDs.

8)       Electrodynamics, complex conductivity, surface impedance.

9)       Other topics, as time permits (e.g. unconventional superconductivity, pseudogap in high-Tc superconductors, etc.)