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Problem Set [pdf]

Problem Set [pdf]

Problem Set

Condensed Matter Option SUPERCONDUCTIVITY Problems 2013 1. (a) Describe briefly the Meissner effect in a superconductor. Explain why a superconductor cannot be considered as a merely a metal with perfect electrical conduction. (b) The charge carriers in superconductor (mass m ∗ , charge −q, number n per unit volume) carry a current density J. By equating the canonical momentum p = m ∗ v + qA to zero, derive the London equation ∇ × J = − B µ 0 λ 2 , and find λ in terms of q, n and m ∗ . By considering a magnetic field applied tangentially to the x = 0 plane, show that this result leads to the Meissner effect in a superconductor located in the half space x > 0. (c) Estimate λ for a typical superconductor using reasonable values of n and m ∗ . 2. Lead has a critical field B c of about 0.07 T at 4.2 K. A magnetic field is applied along the axis of a lead cylinder which has an axial hole of 1 cm inner diameter. The applied field is reduced to zero from an initial value of 1 T. (a) Draw sketches to show the lines of flux at the various stages of this process. (b) Estimate the magnetic dipole moment per unit length of the cylinder with its trapped flux. Is flux quantization in this problem something about which to be concerned (c) Calculate the magnitude of the surface currents per unit length circulating within the surface of the central hole. Estimate the current density within a London penetration depth of the surface. (d) A sample of tin containing a hole of diameter 10 −5 m is cooled through its transition temperature in a magnetic field of 10 −4 T applied parallel to the axis of the hole. Calculate the number of trapped flux quanta. 3. Empirically it is found that the temperature dependence of the critical field B c of a type-I superconductor is given by ( ) ] T 2 B c = B 0 [1 − . T c Use this to show that the entropy S s per unit volume of the superconducting state is lower than that of the normal state S n . Furthermore, show that S n − S s = aT − bT 3 where a and b are constants, and that S n = S s when T = T c . Sketch the heat capacity of such a superconductor with B = 0 as a function of T . Show that the drop in heat capacity at T c has magnitude ∆C = 4B 2 0 /(µ 0T c ) per unit volume. Calculate ∆C for a conventional superconductor with B 0 = 0.08 T and T c = 7 K. 4. (a) What is the evidence for the energy gap in a superconductor (b) Why does the energy gap lead to superconductivity in certain metals but to large resistivity in intrinsic semiconductors (c) Explain why an energy gap might be expected in superconductors on the basis of the BCS theory

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