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Ever since 1911 when Heike Kamerlingh Onnes first discovered superconductivity, physicists have been interested to find out why the temperature of the transition to the superconducting state T c is so low compared to the temperatures of other phase transitions. The temperatures of the transitions to ferromagnetic or antiferromagnetic (AF) states in metals are hundreds of kelvin, while for conventional superconductors T c does not exceed 10–20 K. This fact seems surprising, since in the both cases the phase transitions take place in the electron subsystem of the crystals and are ultimately due to electron–electron interaction. To answer this question, we shall discuss in this chapter the history of the copper-oxide superconductor discovery by Bednorz and Müller [118, 120]. We also consider the generic properties of these compounds that distinguish them from the conventional superconductors. It is assumed that the reader is familiar with the conventional superconductivity theory, which is presented in a number of textbooks, for example, Parks , Ketterson and Song , and Buckel and Kleiner .
KeywordsCuprate Superconductor Conventional Superconductor Magnesium Diboride Underdoped Region Layered Perovskite Structure
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