Superconductivity and Low Temperature Physics 1

Module PH2031

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Basic Information

PH2031 is a semester module in German or English language at Master’s level which is offered in winter semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • General catalogue of special courses
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 75 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2031 is Rudolf Gross.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This module provides a detailed discussion of the fascinating properties and applications of superconductivity. The following specific topics will be addressed:  

  • history of superconductivity
  • foundations (superconducting materials,superconductors in an applied magnetic field, type-I and type-II superconductors, thermodynamics of superconductors)
  • phenomenological description of superconductivity (London- and Ginzburg-Landau theory)
  • flux quantization, Josephson-effects, superconducting quantum interference devices
  • foundation of the microscopic (BCS) theory
  • critical currents of superconductors
  • foundations of high temperature superconductivity
  • applications of superconductivity

Learning Outcome

By the participation in this module the students acquire profound knowledge on the topic superconductivity. This allows them to understand, analyze and to evaluate specific problems to the following aspects: 1) history of superconductivity, 2) foundations (superconducting materials,superconductors in an applied magnetic field, type-I and type-II superconductors, thermodynamics of superconductors), 3) phenomenological description of superconductivity (London- and Ginzburg-Landau theory), 4) flux quantization, Josephson-effects, superconducting quantum interference devices, 5) foundation of the microscopic (BCS) theory, 6) critical currents of superconductors, 7) foundations of high temperature superconductivity, 8) applications of superconductivity.


Basic knowledge on condensed matter physics and quantum mechanics

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VU 4 Supraleitung und Tieftemperaturphysik 1 Gross, R. Hübl, H. Donnerstag, 12:00–14:00
sowie Termine in Gruppen

Learning and Teaching Methods

Lecture, beamer presentation, blackboard work, exercises in groups, discussions.


Lecture Notes, exercise sheets, supplementary literature.


  • Lecture notes and handouts
  • Tinkham: Introduction to Superconductivity
  • Fossheim, Sudbo: Superconductivity - Physics and Applications
  • Buckel, Kleiner: Supraleitung
  • de Gennes: Superconductivity of Metals and Alloys

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

In an oral exam the learning outcome is tested using comprehension questions and sample problems.

In accordance with §12 (8) APSO the exam can be done as a written test. In this case the time duration is 60 minutes.

Remarks on associated module exams

The exam for this module can be taken together with the exam to the associated follow-up module PH2032: Supraleitung und Tieftemperaturphysik 2 / Superconductivity and Low Temperature Physics 2 after the follwoing semester. In this case you need to register for both exams in the following semester.

Exam Repetition

There is a possibility to take the exam at the end of the semester. There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

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