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Free course


Free statement of participation on completion
Superconductivity Copyrighted Icon


Please note: This is course is due to be archived on Wednesday 30th November. You can study the course up until this date. For learners who have completed the course, the Statement of Participation will remain in your learner records in your OpenLearn profile.


The fascinating phenomenon of superconductivity and its potential applications has attracted the attention of scientists, engineers and businessmen. Intense research has taken place to discover new superconductors, to understand the physics that underlies the properties of superconductors, and to develop new applications for these materials. In this free course you will read about the history of superconductors, taking a brief look at their properties. You will also learn about modelling the properties of superconductors and the two different types of superconductor that exist today.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you 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.

First Published: 09/08/2012

Updated: 16/05/2019

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