The Nobel Prize in Physics 2003
Vitaly L. Ginzburg
P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute, Moscow, Russia

The importance of order

Together with his colleague Lev Landau, Vitaly Ginzburg developed a phenomenological theory of superconductivity in the late 1940s. This theory proposes that those electrons that contribute to superconduction form a superfluid. The superconductor is described by a complex function  called the order parameter, and  indicates the fraction of electrons that has condensed into a superfluid.

Order parameter

The Ginzburg-Landau order parameter
is the solution of an equation similar to
the quantum-mechanical wave equation.

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