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I Cooper-Pair Density Near A Conductor's surface

  1. Sep 16, 2016 #1
    I read that niobium metal has a Cooper-pair density of about 10^22 per cubic centimeter. However, when a current flows through a superconductor my understanding is that it all flows near the surface, beginning at the London penetration depth, which is a very small distance.

    So, let's say that you have a 10 cm. long piece of (circular) niobium rod with a cross-sectional area of 1 cm. Once a supercurrent begins flowing would all, or most, of the Cooper-pairs throughout the bulk of the rod migrate to the surface region? And, if so, how deep would this surface region be where the Cooper-pair current flows? Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 19, 2016 #2


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    No, the density of the cooper pairs remains practically constant. What changes is the phase of the Cooper Wavefunction near the surface so that the cooper pairs have a higher velocity near the surface than in the interior of the conductor.
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