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Superconductivity. 907349

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Ali jawad


In this case study, I will talk about how resistance is linked with superconductivity. I will also talk about the benefits and risks about superconducting materials and how superconductivity can enhance our daily life.

Superconductivity occurs in certain materials (metals and ceramic materials) at very low temperatures. When a material is superconductive, it has an electrical resistance of exactly ZERO. Because these superconducting materials have no electrical resistance, this means that the electrons can travel through them freely so energy isn’t lost through heat and are long-lasting materials. The electrical resistivity of a metallic conductor decreases gradually as the temperature is lowered, as the lower temperature makes it easier for the electrons to pair up with little or no resistance.

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This table shows how the critical temperature varies between different superconductors.

Superconductivity was discovered in 1911 by Heike Kamerlingh Onnes. He was studying the resistance of solid mercury at cryogenic (very low) temperatures, when at 4.2K; he observed that the resistance disappeared.

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However, there’s no superconductors at room temperature, therefore we have to cool it a very low temperature for superconductivity to work. This is a MAJOR disadvantage, as it costs a lot of energy and money to get it to that temperature, making it less environmentally friendly as more fossil fuels are burnt adding to the effect of global warming/climate change.

For my practical, I’m measuring the resistivity of a metal and identifying it, linking it with this case study which is what it’s all about. So if the resistivity of that metal is zero; I know it’s a superconductor.  


1. Physics Review

April 2004, Volume 13, Issue 4


Elizabeth Swinbank

2. AS Salters Horners Advanced Physics


Page 99

3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superconductivity

4. http://www.howstuffworks.com/question610.htm

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