Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2005/06 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHYS3430 Superconductivity and Superfluidity

10 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Professor R Cywinski

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2005/06


PHYS2042 (Quantum Mechanics)

This module is not approved as an Elective


At the end of this module you should be able to:
- Describe and explain the properties of superconductors;
- Differentiate between Type I and Type II superconductivity;
- Explain and use the phenomenological and fundamental theories of superconductivity;
- Derive and use the expressions relating the principal parameters of the superconducting ground state;
- Name and describe the principal families of superconducting materials;
- Describe the origins of superfluidity and the properties of superfluids.

Skills outcomes
Ability to take quantum phenomena into real world situations.Ability to take quantum phenomena into real world situations.


The discovery of superconductivity and its classification as a new state of matter. Basic properties of superconductors - zero resistance, perfect diamagnetism, critical fields and critical currents. The Meissner effect. The phenomenological London model, London penetration depth and Pippard coherence length. Demagnetisation factors. Importance of surface energy in defining Type I and Type II behaviour. The mixed state and the intermediate state. Flux penetration in Type II superconductors, flux pinning and Bean's critical state model. Introduction to Ginzburg-Landau theory and the macroscopic wave function. Flux quantisation. Formation and character of Cooper pairs and the origin of the positive attraction between electrons. A description of BCS theory. The superconducting gap and superconducting thermodynamics. The isotope effect. Superconducting materials and high temperature superconductors. Superconducting electronics, Josephson effect and SQUID devices. Introduction to superfluidity. Properties of 3He and 4He, phase diagrams and zero point motion. Zero viscosity, critical velocity and second sound. The fountain effect. Bose condensation. Dispersion relations in superfluid 4He. Rotons. Quantised vortices. Analogies between superfluids and superconductors.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Lectures: 22 x 1 hour.

Private study

Reading/examples/consolidation: 78 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback


Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

1 x 2 hour exam at the end of the semester: 100%.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 19/04/2005


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019