BCS theory

\ ˌbē-ˌsē-ˈes-\

Definition of BCS theory

: a theory in physics: electrons can combine into pairs (called Cooper pairs) at low temperatures in order to travel through superconductors without resistance However, electrons normally repel each other, and some intermediary is required to induce them to pair. In the BCS theory the intermediary is a phonon, a vibration or ripple in the lattice of the crystal.— D. E. Thomsen, Science News, 28 Mar. 1987

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of BCS theory

1958, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for BCS theory

from the initials of John Bardeen †1991, Leon Neil Cooper born 1930 and John Robert Schrieffer born 1931 U.S. physicists who developed it

Note: The theory was first described by the three physicists as “Microscopic Theory of Superconductivity,” in the “Letters to the Editor” section of Physical Review, vol. 106, Issue 1 (April, 1957), pp. 162-64.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about BCS theory

Dictionary Entries near BCS theory

B Corp


BC soil

BCS theory




Statistics for BCS theory

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for BCS theory

The first known use of BCS theory was in 1958

See more words from the same year

Comments on BCS theory

What made you want to look up BCS theory? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!