BCS as foundation and inspiration: The transmutation of symmetry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBCS
Subtitle of host publication50 Years
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co.
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9789814304665
ISBN (Print)9814304654, 9789814304641
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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