Quantum Theory / Particle Physics
June 29, 2016
The Cooper pair state is responsible for superconductivity, as described in the BCS theory developed by John Bardeen, Leon Cooper, and John Schrieffer for which they shared the 1972 Nobel Prize. A Cooper pair or BCS pair is a pair of electrons (or other fermions) bound together at low temperatures in a certain manner first described in 1956 by American physicist Leon Cooper. These have some bosonic properties – properties similar to photons, gravitons and the Higgs boson. Bosons, at sufficiently low temperature, can form a Bose–Einstein condensate which is an example of macroscopic quantum phenomena (quantum behavior at the macroscopic scale, rather than at the atomic scale where quantum effects are prevalent). The best-known examples of macroscopic quantum phenomena are superfluidity and superconductivity. The fact that bosons can form a Bose–Einstein condensate which is related to superconductivity hints at superconductivity being a wave-function phenomenon. Also, the Complex Number Plane of mathematics in conjunction with the so-called Imaginary Time of physics suggests this wave-function might find practical application beyond abstract maths and could be multidimensional having "real", "imaginary" and "complex" types. The explanation of superconductivity by means of Cooper pairs confirms the validity of wave-particle duality.