What is a superconductor material? What are the benefits of superconductors?

A�superconductor�is a material that can conduct electricity or transport electrons from one atom to another with no resistance. It was discovered by Dutch physicist�Heike Kamerlingh Onnes�on April�8, 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 a�quantum 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 patient�s body
  • These are used for making low-loss power cables
  • Superconducting magnets made possible the recent detection of the�Higgs Boson�at�CERN, by bending and focusing beams of colliding particles
  • These are used for the production of sensitive�magnetometers based on�SQUIDs(superconducting quantum interference devices)
  • Powerful�superconducting electromagnets are used in�maglev 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.


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