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FSK3759 Superconductivity and applications 6.0 credits

Superconductivity is a fascinating phenomenon that leads to completely loss-less transport of electric currents – a property that is very attractive for different types of applications. This course gives the basic knowledge for continued work with superconductivity in research or industry. The course covers both the basic theories and models of superconductivity as well as parts of the engineering understanding that is required for designing superconducting applications.

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
Headings with content from the Course syllabus FSK3759 (Autumn 2019–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Properties of superconductors, Meissner effect, good conductors and perfect conductors.
London theory for superconductors.
Thermodynamics for superconductors, type-I and type-II superconductivity.
Vortices in type-II superconductors, energy losses, Bean critical state model. Josephson junctions, quantum interferometers (SQUID:S), short and long Josephson junctions.
Ginzburg-Landau theory for superconductors,
Large scale applications (e.g. magnets, energy storage, advanced transportation) and applications in electronics (e.g. SQUID instruments, computers, measurement normals).

Intended learning outcomes

In order to show deeper knowledge about the theory of superconductivity and to show an ability to understand and describe the principles behind superconducting applications, the students should after having completed the course be able to:

  • describe different theories of superconductivity and their ranges of validity
  • in detail describe the difference between good conductors, perfect conductors and superconductors
  • apply London theory, modified London theory and Ginzburg-Landau theory for superconductivity for both derivations and numerical calculations
  • explain type-I and type-II superconductivity based on thermodynamic calculations of the Gibbs free energy for a superconductor
  • discuss vortices and their properties in a superconductor both quantitatively and qualitatively, especially concerning energy losses in superconaucting wires
  • apply Bean critical state model
  • derive equations for Josephson junctions and relate this to different applications within superconducting electronics
  • describe various applications of superconductivity (superconducting wires, magnets, Maglev trains, SQUID:s, tomographs, measurement normals, superconducting electronics etc)
  • conceptually analyze a suggestion for a superconducting application in a broad holistic perspective and in collaboration with other students
  • deepen the knowledge of superconductivity within a field that relates to the PhD studies

Course disposition

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Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Good knowledge about basic concepts in vector analysis, like divergence, curl, line inegrals, Gauss and Stokes theorems.
Good knowledge of Maxwell's equations and basic quantum physics.

Recommended prerequisites

Good knowledge about basic concepts in vector analysis, like divergence, curl, line inegrals, Gauss and Stokes theorems.
Good knowledge of Maxwell's equations and basic quantum physics.

An introductory course in solid state physics is recommended, but not necessary


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Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

P, F


  • FÖRA - Deepening task, 1.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • INLA - Assignments, 2.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • KONA - Partial exam, 2.5 credits, grading scale: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

KONA and INLA corresponds to similar parts in the course SK2759 Superconductivity and applications.
FÖRA is an individual deepening task within superconductivity. The subject and the way it is examined (either orally or in writing) is determined through an agreement between the student and the examiner.

Other requirements for final grade

A pass grade on all parts of the examination in the course.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Profile picture Magnus Andersson

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web FSK3759

Offered by

SCI/Applied Physics

Main field of study

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Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

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Magnus Andersson

Supplementary information

The course is developed according to the KTH directives for course development.

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at SCI/Applied Physics