Skip to main content

IM2661 Superconductivity and Applications 6.0 credits

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
Headings with content from the Course syllabus IM2661 (Autumn 2016–) 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 instrumetns, computers, measurement normals).

Intended learning outcomes

The course aims at giving the students in depth knowledge and know-how within the theory of superconductivity in order to understand and describe the principles behind various superconducting applications.

After the course, the students shold 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 superconducting 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).

Course disposition

Lectures (with less than minimum number of active students, the course can instead be given by supervised self-studies).

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

No information inserted


No information inserted


M. Andersson, Introduction to applied superconductivity, KTH (compendium)

Examination and completion

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

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • INL1 - Written assignments, 3.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • KON1 - Partial exam, 3.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, 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.

Final grade on the course is based on the total number of points on the hand-in problems and the short exams.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted


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 IM2661

Offered by

SCI/Applied Physics

Main field of study


Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted

Supplementary information

The course is also elective for PhD students in the doctoral programme in physics.

The course is evaluated according to KTH's policy for course analysis.

The course is replaced by SK2759 as from autumn term 2017.