After a brief review of the phenomenology of superconductivity and of its generic explanation in terms of the concept of off-diagonal long-range order, I first survey the original Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer (BCS) weak-coupling model and some extensions of it. I then turn to systems such as the heavy fermions and the cuprates where the superconductivity is generally believed to be due to an all-electronic mechanism, and ask how much information we get about this mechanism from quite general energetic and other considerations, without committing ourselves to any particular microscopic model.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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