I just love technology and how it’s changing the world around us. Superconductors is one topic that can easily branch off into many different sub-topics.
Just take a look around at what needs power, and conductors (materials that transport electricity) are present. The wrap all around our world without even much thought. How can technology advancements with superconductors massively leap us forward!
The majority of materials found around us are good conductors of electrical current or they have little resistance to electrical flow.
Also note that conductors still have some resistance, and that produces heat. The more heat the less conductivity a material becomes!
What are Superconductors?
A superconductor is any material that can transport current with no resistance. When you get the resistance of a circuit down to zero then the current passing through that circuit will be infinite.
Main differences between an conductor verses superconductor?
With a conductor the current dissipates in the resistance when the power is shutoff. No power no light! But with a superconductor in superconducting phase, the current keeps flowing almost forever even with the power switch off.
Another amazing quality of a superconductor is the Meissner effect and here is a good example on Youtube.
Limitations of Superconductors Now
As my headline implies, the search is on for superconductor materials that can operate at temperatures we play in!
To get conductors into superconducting phase(zero resistance), they need to be cooled to the critical temperature around 20 K (−253 °C). for solids.
With more research into different liquids/materials conductor combinations, the critical temperature seems to keeps getting warmer. d:-)
Where do we use Superconductors Today?
Physicists at MIT have been able to manipulate graphene, to act as a superconductor or an insulator. This technology is being developed now in the garment industry and will be the future of smart clothing!
Future Benefits of Reaching Room Temperature
The possibilities seem endless and impossible to imagine, when zero-resistance superconductors begin mass production/adoption.
Think about current loops, that could flow electrons for millions of years without any power loss. This alone would transform our current power, transportation, computing, nano electronics, and many other industries forever.
The Perfect Superconductors – How Far Away?
Even with all the research, the day we see these “perfect superconductors” changing our lives will be years off, but the research now is bringing amazing results.
Other technologies evolving like AI and Quantum computing that can help us evolve the field of room temperature superconductors quicker. The future looks very bright for finding the perfect Superconductor.
What are some other possibilities with this future technology enlighten me!