Superconductivity Essay

2814 words - 11 pages

SUPERCONDUCTIVITY

DEFINITION OF SUPERCONDUCTIVITY

Superconductivity is a phenomenon displayed by certain conductors that show no resistance to the flow of electric current. Conductors are materials in which the electron current goes through. There are 4 different kinds of conductors. Insulators, like glass or wood, have a very high resistance to electron current while semi-conductors, such as silicon, have a medium resistance. Conductors, like copper and other metals, have very low resistance, and superconductors, comprised of certain metals such as mercury and ceramics such as lanthanum-barium-copper-oxide, have no resistance. Resistance is an obstacle in the flow of electricity. Superconductors also have strong diamagnetism. In other words, they are repelled by magnetic fields. Due to these special characteristics of superconductors, no electrical energy is lost while flowing and since magnetic levitation above a superconductor is possible. This principle is employed in high-speed trains that travel at 483 km/h (300 mph) while levitating on a cushion of air.

MAKING OF THE SUPERCONDUCTOR

When superconductivity was first discovered, it was established that the compounds needed to be cooled to within several degrees Kelvin to absolute zero (zero Kelvin). The large amount of cooling was done by putting the compound in liquid helium. Helium, which is usually a gas, liquefies when its temperature drops to 4 K. Once the material had cooled to that temperature, it became a superconductor. However, using liquid helium to cool down material has been a problem. Liquid helium is very expensive, and the cooling equipment is very large. In the past, there was no economic incentive to replace ordinary conductors with superconductors because the cooling costs for superconductors were so high. Scientists have found two ways to overcome the cooling problems. The first is to find a way to cool the material using something less expensive and less bulky than liquid helium. The second way is to raise the temperatures that are necessary to cause superconductivity in the metals, or the critical temperatures. By combining materials into superconducting alloys, the temperature was raised slightly. By 1933, the critical temperature was at 10 K, and it wasn't until 1969 when the critical temperature was raised to 23 K and scientists tried, unsuccessfully, to raise it again. Then, in 1986, 2 IBM researchers in Zurich found a complex ceramic material that was superconducting at 30 K. After being increased to 39 K in late 1986, a critical temperature of 98 K was reported by Ching-WuChu and his research team at the University of Houston in 1987. A new coolant was then used. Liquid nitrogen liquefies at 77 K, is fairly inexpensive, and can even be carried around in a thermos (Mayo 1988, p 7). Liquid nitrogen costs about 50 cents a liter, while liquid helium costs several dollars a liter. Thanks to this new discovery, efficient and cost-effective superconductors could be...

Find Another Essay On Superconductivity

The Materials, Properties, and Theory of Superconductivity

1505 words - 6 pages The purpose of this paper is to examine the materials, properties, and theory of superconductivity, a quantum phenomenon that occurs when a material is brought below a critical temperature and will conduct electricity without any resistance, the nearest model in nature to perpetual motion. According to Ecks (1990), Once current is applied to a superconducting material the current will continue in a closed lope without ever losing intensity

Physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes and Superconductivity

1419 words - 6 pages In 1911, Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes discovered that the resistance of mercury absolutely disappears at temperatures below about 4K. This phenomenon is called superconductivity; correspondingly, materials which have this property would be called superconductors. Because of this great discovery, in 1913, he won a Nobel Prize in physics for his research in this area. [2] The technological development of superconductivity was hampered by

Projekt in danish conserning Superconductivity

2793 words - 11 pages FormålTeoriDette fysik projekt har til formål at undersøge supraledning og belyse dets anvendelsesmulighed til transport i nutiden og fremtiden. Et bestemt materiales supraledende evne, vil blive undersøgt ved et laboratorieforsøg. Om dette materiale har nogen modstand ved meget lave temperaturer, vil også blive undersøgt ved et forsøg. Hvad er supraledere og supraledning?Næsten alle metallers resistans vokser lineært med temperaturen. Ved

Condensed Matter Physics

562 words - 3 pages Condensed Matter Physics, in its early conception, was not known by its more modern terminology but emanated from Solid State Physics. Comparable to Astronomy, Solid State Physics is the oldest subcategory of what we now refer to as Physics. Condensed-matter physics is broader and applies to concepts that work in solids, but could equally be applied to liquids: superconductivity vs. superfluidity, and soft-condensed matter. Condensed Matter

A World Without Friction

649 words - 3 pages , whatever moving vehicles that were invented in this frictionless world would not have to contend with drag and air resistance. An interesting change that would come about is that all metals would become superconductors (Krim). Superconductivity is a phenomenon occurring in certain materials generally at very low temperatures, characterized by exactly zero electrical resistance (Superconductor). Since friction creates heat, there would be no heat so the

Magnetic Fuel

823 words - 4 pages source of green energy can be created. Perpetual motion run by magnets can sprout new ideas and innovations anywhere that can change the life humans live. Along with perpetual motion, superconductivity can revolutionize mechanical objects. Some magnets have the ability to levitate off the ground due to superconductivity. At cold temperatures, superconductors will circulate currents which will exclude magnetic fields from its interior thus

Cryogenics and the future

1440 words - 6 pages lowest temperature used, is the unattainable temperature -273.15 (C (-459.67 (F). Also, when speaking of cryogenics, the terms Celsius and Fahrenheit are rarely used. Instead scientists use a different measurement called the Kelvin (K). The Kelvin scale for Cryogenics goes from 173 K to a fraction of a Kelvin above absolute zero. There are also two main sciences used in cryogenics, and they are Superconductivity and Superfluidity.Cryogenics

Studies of Quench Locations in ILC Cavities

1208 words - 5 pages maximum accelerating gradient below the ILC specifications. The quench location at low fields almost always is associated with equatorial regions near equator weld, sometimes not on the weld itself, but in the adjacent so-called heat-affected zone of niobium. In order to distinguish this type of quench from a fundamental quench of niobium which caused by magnetic field breakdown of superconductivity, we will refer to this quench as weld quench. Since

How could magnetically levitated trains relieve the problems of efficiency, safety, and ecology associated with the conventional trains and airplanes?

2588 words - 11 pages Choices.” IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity 12 (1): 915-925. Accessed February 5, 2014. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?arnumber=01018549 Chen, Xiaohong, Feng Tang, Zhaoyi Huang, and Guangtao Wang. 2007. “High-Speed Maglev Noise Impacts on Residents: A Case Study in Shanghai.” Science Direct: 437-448. Accessed February 8, 2014. http://ac.els-cdn.com/S1361920907000570/1-s2.0-S1361920907000570-main.pdf?_tid=f29bda86-9c84

Quantum Theory

929 words - 4 pages , superconductivity, nuclear physics, and elementary particle physics""that all found a consistent basis in quantum mechanics.In the years since 1925, no fundamental deficiencies have been found in quantum mechanics, although the question of whether the theory should be accepted as complete has come under discussion. In the 1930s the application of quantum mechanics and special relativity to the theory of the electron allowed the British physicist Paul Dirac

A Proof-of-Principle Demonstration of 805 MHz High Gradient SRF Cavities

2195 words - 9 pages it niobium has the highest superconducting transition temperature of ~9.2 K as a single metalamong pure metals. The benefits of SRF cavities compared to normal conducting structures are 1) lower losses due to the intrinsic nature of superconductivity, 2) they can run at higher gradients forin long pulses orand CW operations, and 3) lower beam impedances due to larger beam apertures. However, Nb SRF cavities are fundamentally limited by the RF

Similar Essays

Superconductivity Essay

533 words - 2 pages Superconductivity is the ability for certain materials to conduct electrical current with no resistance. This is found in certain metals (i.e. lead, mercury and tin) and alloys when temperatures are near absolute zero, which is -273.15°C. Ceramics are also good superconductors when they reach a higher temperature of -148°C.Dutch physicist, Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, made the first discoveries of superconductivity in 1911. He observed that

Superconductivity Essay

1496 words - 6 pages Superconductivity INTRODUCTION We've all heard about superconductivity. But, do we all know what it is? How it works and what are its uses? To start talking about superconductivity, we must try to understand the how "normal" conductivity works. This will make it much easier to understand how the "super" part functions. In the following paragraphs, I will explain how superconductivity works, some of the current problems and

Superconductivity Essay

1502 words - 6 pages INTRODUCTIONWe've all heard about superconductivity. But, do we all know what itis? How it works and what are its uses? To start talking aboutsuperconductivity, we must try to understand the how 'normal' conductivityworks. This will make it much easier to understand how the 'super' partfunctions. In the following paragraphs, I will explain how superconductivityworks, some of the current problems and some examples of its

Superconductivity: The Next Revolution? Essay

1166 words - 5 pages Superconductivity: The Next Revolution? The discovery of high temperature superconductors in 1987 led to a revolution in the field of science and technology. The discovery of superconductors, their impact on advancement in the field of physics and their usefulness in today’s industry is the main theme of Professor Vidali’s book “Superconductivity: the next revolution? The author has thoroughly described the concept of superconductivity, the