2019-2020 / ELEN0047-1



30h Th, 15h Labo.

Number of credits

 Master of Science (MSc) in Engineering Physics5 crédits 


Philippe Vanderbemden

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Type I superconductivity : perfect conductivity, London theory, magnetic field penetration, two-fluid model, electromagnetic power, microwave properties, macroscopic quantic model, phase relations and fluxoïd quantization. Type II superconductivity : vortex structure, thermodynamical aspects, critical fields, vortex interactions, surface effects, vortex pinning, critical current density, Bean model. Basic Josephson junctions. Magnetic properties : field cooling, zero-field cooling, thermal and geometric effects. High temperature superconductors : anisotropy, irreversibility line, granularity. Engineering applications : cables and tapes, bulk materials, thin films.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the electrical and magnetic properties of superconductors and their main difference with normal conductors;
  • understand how to apply the basic theories of superconductivity to the analysis of their physical properties;
  • understand the influence of the material microstructure on their current carrying abilities;
  • demonstrate practical skills as well as the ability to carry out successful measurements in superconductors in cryogenic environment;
  • show how the unique properties of superconductors can be exploited in various engineering applications.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

The "Electromagnetism" course (ELEN-0076-1) should be attended the same year (if not, previously).

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Practical courses involve 3 sessions of mandatory laboratory experiments (electrical resistivity, magnetic susceptibility, direct and indirect critical current measurements, levitation force). Visit of the labs of the "Electronics instrumentation" research group, part  related to superconductivity.

Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning)


Recommended or required readings

Reference book :
"Foundations of Applied Superconductivity" T.P. Orlando and K.A. Delin, Addison Wesley Publishing Company (1991).
Additional syllabuses : "Complements on magnetic properties and critical currents of superconductors" (31 pages). "Superconductivity. Laboratory coursebook".
A copy of the slides will be made available at the first lecture.

Assessment methods and criteria

Theoretical and laboratory part : written exam (January session) - weight 85% Written laboratory reports - weight 15%
Deadline for the laboratory reports:  the day of the written January exam.

Work placement(s)

Organizational remarks

1. Theoretical part (30 hours) : 1st quadrimester - see CELCAT calendar 2. Laboratories (15 hours) : schedule to be determined, depending on the measurement lab vacancies.
Each of the laboratory sessions is mandatory and should be prepared in advance by reading carefully the corresponding section of the "laboratory" files. Students who have not attended all laboratory sessions are not eligible for the exam; this rule applies both for 1st sitting (January) and for 2nd sitting (August - September).


Philippe Vanderbemden Tel : 04 366 26 70 Philippe.Vanderbemden@uliege.be