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Richard Feynman and the History of Superconductivity

Goodstein, David and Goodstein, Judith (2000) Richard Feynman and the History of Superconductivity. Physics in Perspective, 2 (1). pp. 30-47. ISSN 1422-6944. doi:10.1007/s000160050035.

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This paper deals with two topics. One is the history of superconductivity, and the other is what Richard Feynman had to do with it. The history of superconductivity can be traced back to Michael Faraday and the first liquefaction of a gas in 1823. It is a heroic tale of triumph over cold and resistance, and once the phenomenon was actually discovered in 1911, it would take almost 50 years more before a satisfactory explanation emerged. Although Richard Feynman only authored one published paper on the subject, he worked prodigiously on the problem through much of the 1950s, and his competitors, particularly Bardeen, Cooper, and Schrieffer, fully expected that he would be the one to crack the problem. It did not work out that way.

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Additional Information:© Birkhaüser Verlag, Basel, 2000. We wish to thank Harvey B. Newman for inviting us in 1994 to prepare a special talk on this subject at the "Ettore Majorana" Centre for Scientific Culture at Erice, Sicily. An earlier version of this paper appeared in H. B. Newman and Thomas Ypsilantis, eds. History of Original Ideas and Basic Discoveries in Particle Physics (New York: Plenum Press, 1996), pp. 773–788. Roger H. Stuewer provided helpful editorial suggestions.
Subject Keywords:History of superconductivity; liquefaction of gases; Kamerlingh Onnes; Feynman
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20151216-095248007
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:62966
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:16 Dec 2015 19:53
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:09

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