J. R. Schrieffer.“Theory of Superconductivity,” Perseus Books, Revised Ed., 1999.

Piers Coleman. “Heavy fermions: Electrons at the edge of magnetism.” Handbook of Magnetism and Advanced Magnetic Materials (2007). (PDF)

Superconductivity: BCS and Heavy-Fermions

This is the first talk of a three-part series on superconductivity. Superconductivity is an integral component of condensed matter physics and continues to produce mysteries at a higher rate as compared to their explanation. The main topics that will be covered in this series will be: BCS, heavy-fermion, cuprate, and iron pnictide/chalcogenide superconductivity (in that order). The sequence of topics are chosen in the chronological order of discovery rather than theoretical understanding. I believe that this is, in fact, a favorable approach since the field evolved in this manner.

The first half of this talk will cover the basics of conventional (or BCS) superconductivity. This part will be relatively short since this is covered in many classes and standard texts and will simply serve as a review of the basic theoretical concepts, phenomenology, and their implications. The choice of text was somewhat arbitrary since there are countless good books on conventional superconductivity.

The second part of this talk will briefly touch upon the very poorly understood heavy-fermion superconductors. These systems were the first examples of unconventional superconductivity. This part will heavily focus on phenomenology as opposed to theory because the field is far from formulating a universal theory of heavy-fermion superconductors. On the contrary, high-temperature superconductor systems, such as cuprates and pnictides, although not fully understood, display relatively more universal features among different materials.

The presentation slides for this journal club meeting can be found in the PDF file here. The PDF slides are only in the reading mode; they do not contain any animations. The original PowerPoint slides with animations can be found here. If you notice any typos or scientific inaccuracies in the slides, I would be grateful if you could bring them to my attention by sending me an email.