BCS as foundation and inspiration: The transmutation of symmetry

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4 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)
Pages (from-to)3169-3189
Number of pages21
JournalModern Physics Letters A
Issue number38
StatePublished - Dec 14 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Superconductivity
  • anyons
  • quantum statistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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