Physics- Superconductors

Topics: Superconductivity, Magnetic field, Electric current Pages: 2 (329 words) Published: October 19, 2014
A superconductor is a metallic alloy that conducts electricity without resistance, below a certain temperature. Once in motion, an electrical current will flow in a closed loop within a superconducting material. This is the closest to scientists of a perpetual motion machine.

In 1911, Heike Kamerlingh Onnes first observed superconductivity. He used mercury and cooled to four degrees Kelvin. When the mercury reached that temperature, the resistance disappeared. That meant that the electrical current flowed freely through it.

In 1933, the “Meissner effect” was discovered. It told of a magnet moving by a conductor by electrical currents in a conductor. This effect is the basis for conventional generators. However, superconductors the magnet is repulsed. The current is mirrored through the field that would have been penetrated. This is called magnetism and causes magnet to be levitated above superconductor material.

In 1989, the Illinois Superconductor was the first to commercialize “high temperature” superconductors. They introduced medical equipment that operated at the temperature of seventy seven degrees Kelvin. Additionally, in Japan in 1997, introduced Yamanashi MAGLEV Test Line. In 2003 the train ran at a speed of 361 mph. There are other trains like the Japanese one like in England, Shanghai, and US.

Biomagnetism is another use for superconductors. Current MRI’s use superconducting magnets to create a magnetic field in the body. Hydrogen atoms present in the body release it at a frequency that can be detected by computers. Then displayed to give an image of the human body.

Another superconductor is the superconducting quantum interference (SQUID). It has the ability to detect a change in the magnetic field. The device is used to probe the id without the need of strong magnetic fields or MRIs. SQUID also allows the ability to look at the brain.

In the future, researchers are looking to use superconductors in electric generators. With...
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