Superconductivity at Room Temperature

A material which exhibits superconductivity at room temperature has been discovered by a team from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.

This discovery is a major breakthrough in the field of science as up till now, superconductivity existed only at temperatures much below zero degree Celcius.

The main issue with low temperatures is that maintaining such temperatures is energy-intensive and, are thus expensive making it practically unusable.

The material confirmed by the team is in the form of nano-sized films and pellets made of silver nano particles embedded in a gold matrix.

What is Superconductivity?

The phenomenon in which the resistance of the material to the electric current flow is zero is known as Superconductivity.

When an electric current is passed through a conductor, it experiences a resistance which is offered by the conductor.

Due to this resistance, a part of this current is lost to its surroundings in the form of heat energy.

High resistance means lesser power will reach the destination and low resistance means more power will reach the destination.

In Superconductors, this resistance amounts to zero thus maximizing the power output.

Applications of Superconducting Materials

Some of the important applications of such superconducting materials are

1. The power transmission cables, that are used to transport electricity over long distances incur heavy energy losses. These losses can be minimized using superconductors.
2. Superconductors, having zero energy losses can be used to store power, unlike conventional batteries which degrade over time.
3. Superconductors are used in the trains running on magnetic levitation (maglev).
4. They are used to make extremely powerful electromagnets to accelerate charged particles very fast (to near the speed of light) in Large Hadron Collider.
5. SQUIDs (Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices) are used to detect even the weakest magnetic field and hence are used in mine detection equipment to help in the removal of land mines.

Leave a Comment