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Chin. Phys. B, 2012, Vol. 21(7): 070306    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/21/7/070306
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On the role of the uncertainty principle in superconductivity and superfluidity

Roberto Onofrio
Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia “Galileo Galilei”, Universitã di Padova, Via Marzolo 8, Padova 35131, Italy, ITAMP, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Abstract  We discuss the general interplay between the uncertainty principle and the onset of dissipationless transport phenomena such as superconductivity and superfluidity. We argue that these phenomena are possible because of the robustness of many-body quantum states with respect to the external environment, which is directly related to the uncertainty principle as applied to coordinates and momenta of the carriers. In the case of superconductors, this implies relationships between macroscopic quantities such as critical temperature and critical magnetic field, and microscopic quantities such as the amount of spatial squeezing of a Cooper pair and its correlation time. In the case of ultracold atomic Fermi gases, this should be paralleled by a connection between the critical temperature for the onset of superfluidity and the corresponding critical velocity. Tests of this conjecture are finally sketched with particular regard to the understanding of the behaviour of superconductors under external pressures or mesoscopic superconductors, and the possibility to mimic these effects in ultracold atomic Fermi gases using Feshbach resonances and atomic squeezed states.
Keywords:  superconductivity      superfluidity      uncertainty principle      squeezed states  
Received:  05 January 2012      Revised:  05 January 2012      Published:  01 June 2012
PACS:  03.65.Ta (Foundations of quantum mechanics; measurement theory)  
  42.50.Dv (Quantum state engineering and measurements)  
  74.20.De (Phenomenological theories (two-fluid, Ginzburg-Landau, etc.))  
  67.85.Lm (Degenerate Fermi gases)  
Corresponding Authors:  Roberto Onofrio     E-mail:

Cite this article: 

Roberto Onofrio On the role of the uncertainty principle in superconductivity and superfluidity 2012 Chin. Phys. B 21 070306

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