In the year of 1890 Heike Kemmerlingh Onnes in Leiden pioneered low temperature physics with his invention on the technique to liquefy Hydrogen and in 1906 to liquefy Helium. Initiated by this works, in 1911 he performed a study to observe the resistance of pure metals i.e. mercury at very low temperature (cryogenic). At that time, many believed that electrons flowing through a conductor would be completely halt at absolute zero temperature, or in other words the resistivity become infinitely large. The Result of Kammerlingh Onnes study stated that at the temperature of 4.2 K, the resistance of mercury is abruptly disappeared. He realized that there was a phase transition occurred and then he referred this phenomenon as “supraconductivity”, later adopted as “superconductivity.” We can safely describe superconductivity as a phenomenon where resistivity of several metals or alloys is disappeared at certain Temperature.
Numerous effort has been done to explain the phenomenon of superconductivity after its first discovery in 1911. From phenomenological macroscopic explanation to the microscopic explanation of BCS theory. Superconductor has several unique properties, that is; Magnetic field effect, Meissner effect, isotope effect. The Magnetic field effect can be described as disappearance of superconductivity under influence of magnetic field, there is critical value of magnetic field Hc in which above certain value superconductivity disappear. Superconductivity can be classified into two types based on its critical magnetic field; type I where there is only one critical field and type II where there are two critical field, the upper critical field Hc2 which separates normal phase from superconducting phase and the lower critical field Hc1 which separates superconducting mixed phase from the meissner phase, which is the same as the superconducting phase of type I. Continue reading “Superconductivity”