What is a superconductor material? What are the benefits of superconductors?
Aï¿½superconductorï¿½is a material that can conduct electricity or transport electrons from one atom to another with no resistance. It was discovered by Dutch physicistï¿½Heike Kamerlingh Onnesï¿½on Aprilï¿½8, 1911.
Features of a superconductor:
- No heat, sound or any other form of energy would be released from the material when it has reached critical temperature (Tc)
- Superconductivity is aï¿½quantum mechanicalphenomenon
- Superconductors are able to maintain a current with no applied voltage
Benefits of superconductors:
- MRI machines use superconductors to generate a large magnetic field that gives doctors a non-invasive way to image the inside of a patientï¿½s body
- These are used for making low-loss power cables
- Superconducting magnets made possible the recent detection of theï¿½Higgs Bosonï¿½atï¿½CERN, by bending and focusing beams of colliding particles
- These are used for the production of sensitiveï¿½magnetometers based onï¿½SQUIDs(superconducting quantum interference devices)
- Powerfulï¿½superconducting electromagnets are used inï¿½maglev trains
A team from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, has confirmed that the material they tested exhibits major properties of superconductivity at ambient temperature and pressure. Superconductors will help build very high efficiency devices leading to huge energy savings.