On the Theory of Superconductivity: The One-Dimensional Case

H. Frohlich

Abstract

The one-dimensional case of free electrons interacting with lattice displacements is solved by a self-consistent method. It is found that for a certain range of the interaction parameter a single sinusoidal lattice displacement is strongly excited in the lowest level of the system. Its wave-length is such as to create an energy gap in the single-electron energy spectrum with all states below it filled, and all above it empty. This periodic lattice displacement plays the role of an 'inner field' and leads to periodic fluctuation in the electronic density in such a way that the two stabilize each other. In an infinite medium described by a periodic boundary condition they are not fixed absolutely in space, but only relative to each other. Excitation of electrons across the gap leads to a decrease in both the electronic density fluctuations and the width of the gap. The whole system, electrons plus lattice displacements, can move through the lattice without being disturbed provided the velocity v is sufficiently small. The inertia of this system is equal to that of all electrons augmented by a term due to the lattice displacements. Elastic scattering of individual electrons which normally leads to the residual resistance is impossible if v is sufficiently small. The linear specific heat of normal electrons is eliminated and replaced by an exponential term.