# Meissner effect

Explore the Meissner Effect in superconductivity, its theoretical foundation, working principle, and a calculation example.

## The Meissner Effect: A Key Phenomenon in Superconductivity

At the heart of understanding superconductivity is a phenomenon known as the Meissner Effect. Discovered in 1933 by German physicists Walther Meissner and Robert Ochsenfeld, this effect describes the expulsion of magnetic fields from a superconductor when it transitions to its superconducting state.

## Superconductivity and the Meissner Effect

Superconductivity is a state where materials exhibit zero electrical resistance and repel magnetic fields. It typically occurs at extremely low temperatures. The latter property – the expulsion of magnetic fields – is the Meissner Effect, a definitive signature of superconducting state, differentiating it from a perfect conductor.

• Perfect Conductor: In perfect conductors, magnetic fields established while in the normal state persist even after transitioning into a superconducting state.
• Superconductor: In superconductors, as per the Meissner Effect, magnetic fields are expelled upon transition into a superconducting state.

## Theoretical Foundation

The Meissner Effect is explained by the BCS theory (Bardeen, Cooper, and Schrieffer theory), which was proposed in 1957. According to this theory, electrons in a superconductor form pairs, called Cooper pairs, which move without scattering or energy loss. This process underlies the zero electrical resistance characteristic of superconductivity.

## How Meissner Effect Works

When a superconductor transitions from its normal state to its superconducting state, it expels all interior magnetic fields, a process known as ‘magnetic flux expulsion’. This expulsion is not due to any force or a simple screening effect, but due to the formation of persistent surface currents that exactly cancel the applied magnetic field inside the superconductor.

## Importance of the Meissner Effect

The Meissner Effect is crucial for many applications of superconductivity, including magnetic levitation, which is used in maglev trains and MRI machines. Furthermore, understanding this phenomenon is key to developing more efficient superconducting materials.

In conclusion, the Meissner Effect offers a fascinating insight into the mysterious world of superconductivity, opening avenues for scientific exploration and technological advancements in various fields.

## Calculating the Meissner Effect: An Example

Let’s illustrate a simple calculation related to the Meissner Effect using a hypothetical superconducting sphere.

## Step 1: Identify Parameters

• Radius (R) of the sphere: Suppose it is 1 cm or 0.01 m.
• Magnetic Field (B) applied: Let’s assume it to be 0.5 Tesla.
• Penetration Depth (λ): For our calculation, we’ll take a standard penetration depth of 50 nm or 50 x 10-9 m for low-temperature superconductors.

## Step 2: Calculate Magnetic Field at Surface

The magnetic field at the surface of the superconductor can be approximated using London’s second equation. This equation is a linear differential equation that relates the current density (J) with the magnetic field (B) within the superconductor:

∇ x J = – B / λ2

Given that the magnetic field penetrates the superconductor only to a depth λ (the London penetration depth), for our sphere, we find that the magnetic field at the surface is approximately equal to the applied magnetic field B.

## Step 3: Calculate Current Density

Knowing the magnetic field at the surface, we can calculate the current density using the above equation. Solving the equation for J, we have:

J = B / λ2

Substitute B = 0.5 Tesla and λ = 50 x 10-9 m into the equation, we find:

J = 0.5 / (50 x 10-9)2 A/m2

Thus, the current density J provides a measure of the current flowing just beneath the surface of the superconductor, counteracting the applied magnetic field and demonstrating the Meissner effect.

Please note that this is a simplification of a complex quantum mechanical phenomenon, and real-world calculations require a more in-depth understanding of superconductor physics.

The primary purpose of this project is to help the public to learn some exciting and important information about electricity and magnetism.