Courses Catalogue

Superconducting Materials And Applications

COLLEGE/SCHOOL/FACULTY: School of Natural and Applied Sciences
STATUS: Elective
PROGRAMME TYPE: Postgraduate

Course Description

The course aims at giving the students in depth knowledge and know-how within the theory of superconductivity in order to understand and describe the principles behind various superconducting applications. Topics covered include basic experimental aspects; superconducting materials; high temperature superconductors; theoretical aspects; applications. The course introduces students to the unusual properties that are exhibited by superconducting materials that can have an impact on the development of electrical and electronic devices. The emphasis is primarily through an electromagnetic treatment without requiring the need for an advanced quantum physics approach. Students from different disciplines and different levels of experience should be able to correlate the potential of the unusual aspects of superconductors, as compared to normal conductors, with what might be a valuable area to consider for some future need in their professional careers.


To introduce the aspects of superconductivity and properties of materials in the superconducting state; charge flow dynamics of type II superconductors; high T c superconductors; applications for computers and high-frequency devices


By the end of this course, the student should be able to:

Explain the meanings of the newly defined (emboldened) terms and symbols, and use them appropriately

Distinguish between perfect conduction and perfect diamagnetism, and give a qualitative description of the Meissner effect

Explain how observation of a persistent current can be used to estimate an upper limit on the resistivity of a superconductor, and perform calculations related to such estimates

 Explain why the magnetic flux through a superconducting circuit remains constant, and describe applications of this effect

Show how the London equations and Maxwell's equations lead to the prediction of the Meissner effect.


A student completing the course is expected to:

 Discuss the basic concepts of superconductivity and superconducting materials.

Apply various technological application of the superconductivity.

Describe the difference between normal and superconducting metals.

 Explain the most important theories to explain superconductivity.

Outline the basic superconductor parameters: critical temperature, critical current density, critical magnetic field, penetration depth, coherence length, surface impedance, tunneling effects.

Show general familiarity with basic models for type II superconductors.

 Describe the function, operating parameters, and design limitations for superconductors applications-devices; Josephson junctions, SQUID magnetometers, filters for mobile communications and other microwave device applications, and levitation for large scale systems.

 Compare the use, or potential use of, the low T c superconductors and new nitride compositions with the high T c systems for designing both small and large scale applications.

Predict on the basis of current progress and projected directions for superconductivity R&D in electrical engineering and related fields what are the most likely and least likely successes that can be anticipated for applications in the next ten years.