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

Word History


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.

First Known Use

1958, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of BCS theory was in 1958

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Dictionary Entries Near BCS theory

Cite this Entry

“BCS theory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/BCS%20theory. Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

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