A good summary from Wikipedia by physicist Andrew Whitaker:
at a junction of two superconductors, a current will flow even if there is no drop in voltage; that when there is a voltage drop, the current should oscillate at a frequency related to the drop in voltage; and that there is a dependence on any magnetic field
In 1962 Brian Josephson published his inaugural paper predicting the effect as Section "Possible new effects in superconductive tunnelling (1963, Prediction of the Josephson effect)".
In 1963 Philip W. Anderson and John M. Rowell published their paper that first observed the effect as Section "Possible new effects in superconductive tunnelling (1963, Prediction of the Josephson effect)".
Some golden notes can be found at True Genius: The Life and Science of John Bardeen page 224 and around. Philip W. Anderson commented:
As part of the course Anderson had introduced the concept of broken symmetry in superconductors. Josephson "was fascinated by the idea of broken symmetry, and wondered whether there could be any way of observing it experimentally."
The inaugural that predicted the Josephson effect.
Published on Physics Letters, then a new journal, before they split into Physics Letters A and Physics Letters B. True Genius: The Life and Science of John Bardeen mentions that this choice was made rather than the more prestigious Physical Review Letters because they were not yet so confident about the results.
Paywalled by Elsevier as of 2023 at: www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0031916362913690
Paywalled by the American Physical Society as of 2023 at: journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.10.230
TODO understand the graphs in detail.
A reconstruction of their circuit in Ciro's ASCII art circuit diagram notation TODO:
There are not details of the physical construction of course. Reproducibility lol.
By looking at the Josephson equations, we see that a positive constant, then just increases linearly without bound.
Therefore, from the first equation: .
This meas that we can use a Josephson junction as a perfect voltage to frequency converter.
Wikipedia mentions that this frequency is , so it is very very high, so we are not able to view individual points of the sine curve separately with our instruments.
Also it is likely not going to be very useful for many practical applications in this mode.
An I-V curve can also be seen at: Figure "Electron microscope image of a Josephson junction its I-V curve".
If you shine microwave radiation on a Josephson junction, it produces a fixed average voltage that depends only on the frequency of the microwave. TODO how is that done more preciesely? How to you produce and inject microwaves into the thing?
It acts therefore as a perfect frequency to voltage converter.
The Wiki page gives the formula: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephson_effect#The_inverse_AC_Josephson_effect You get several sinusoidal harmonics, so the output is not a perfect sine. But the infinite sum of the harmonics has a fixed average voltage value.
And en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephson_voltage_standard#Josephson_effect mentions that the effect is independent of the junction material, physical dimension or temperature.
TODO understand how/why it works better.
Two equations derived from first principles by Brian Josephson that characterize the device, somewhat like an I-V curve:
Is a fixed characteristic value of the physical construction of the junction.
A function defined by the second of the Josephson equations plus initial conditions.
It represents an internal state of the junction.
A device that exhibits the Josephson effect.
TODO is there any relationship between this and the Josephson effect?
Experimental observation published as Experimental Evidence for Quantized Flux in Superconducting Cylinders.
This appears to happen to any superconducting loop, because the superconducting wave function has to be continuous.
Paywalled at: journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.7.43
The first published experimental observation of the magnetic flux quantum.
The paper that follows it in the journal is also of interest, "Theoretical Considerations Concerning Quantized Magnetic Flux In Superconducting Cylinders" by N. Byers and C. N. Yang, it starts:
In a recent experiment, the magnetic flux through a superconducting ring has been found to be quantized in units of ch/2e. Quantization in twice this unit has been briefly discussed by London' and by Onsager. ' Onsager' has also considered the possibility of quantization in units ch/2e due to pairs of electrons forming quasi-bosons.So there was some previous confusion about the flux quantum due to the presence of Cooper pairs or not.
Dumping the fitures at: archive.org/details/experimental-evidence-for-quantized-flux-in-superconducting-cylinders One day we can also dump the paper scans when it goes into the public domain in 2056! Public domain scientific paper by year.
The inverse of the magnetic flux quantum.
The most practical/precise volt standard.
It motivated the definition of the ampere in the 2019 redefinition of the SI base units
Quick NIST article about it: www.nist.gov/news-events/news/2013/04/primary-voltage-standard-whole-world (archive)
Can be used as a very precise magnetometer.
Two parallel Josephson junctions.
In Ciro's ASCII art circuit diagram notation:
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