BCS as Foundation and Inspiration: The Transmutation of Symmetry
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The BCS theory injected two powerful ideas into the collective consciousness of theoretical physics: pairing and spontaneous symmetry breaking. In the 50 years since the seminal work of Bardeen, Cooper and Schrieffer, those ideas have found important use in areas quite remote from the stem application to metallic superconductivity. This is a brief and eclectic sketch of some highlights, emphasizing relatively recent developments in QCD and in the theory of quantum statistics, and including a few thoughts about future directions. A common theme is the importance of symmetry transmutation, as opposed to the simple breaking of electromagnetic U(1) symmetry in classic metallic superconductors.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Center for Theoretical Physics; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics
Modern Physics Letters A
Wilczek, Frank. “BCS as Foundation and Inspiration: The Transmutation of Symmetry.” Modern Physics Letters A 25.38 (2010): 3169–3189.
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