Super Conductivity at Ambient Temperature
22, Jul 2018
Prelims level : Science and tech Mains level :
Researchers from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru have been able to achieve superconductivity at ambient temperature and pressure.
- A superconductor is a material that can conduct electricity or transport electrons from one atom to another with no resistance.
- This means no heat, sound or any other form of energy would be released from the material when it has reached “critical temperature” (Tc), or the temperature at which the material becomes superconductive.
- A large number of materials have been found to undergo normal to superconducting transitions.
- But such transitions require extremely low temperature and/or extremely high pressure.
- A type I superconductor consists of basic conductive elements that are used in everything from electrical wiring to computer microchips.
- A type II superconductor is composed of metallic compounds such as copper or lead. They reach a superconductive state at much higher temperatures when compared to type I superconductors.
- Power transmission cables.
- Motors and generators.
- Fault current limiters.
- Superconducting magnets including MRI and research magnets.
- SQUID (superconducting quantum interference device) – sensitive sensors to detect magnetic field and Josephson junctions.
- Magnetic Levitation including magnetic suspension, contactless bearings, linear motors and trains.
- Shielding of magnetic fields.
- Superconducting electronics and quantum computers.
- SMES (superconducting magnetic energy storage).
- Maglev (magnetic levitation) trains. Large hadron collider or particle accelerator.
- The USA is developing “E-bombs”. These are devices that make use of strong, superconductor derived magnetic fields to create a fast, high-intensity electromagnetic pulse that can disable an enemy’s electronic equipment.