Electrical engineering perspective on superconductors

Electrical engineering perspective on superconductors

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Superconductors are not just better conductors of electricity than well-known metals such as copper, silver and aluminium, but they represent a completely different phenomenon in electrical science, as is suggested by the resistance versus temperature graphs. In general, most conventionally conducting materials display an increasing resistance with temperature, because fixed ions within the material become more agitated as it becomes hotter. When viewed as particles, as is normally the case in electrical engineering, 'free electrons' in the hot solid, experience a much more disruptive and tortuous path through it, because of the interfering vibrating ions, and hence the material is deemed to exhibit high resistance. But even at absolute zero (0 K), such materials possess some residual resistance because the electrons as particles are still impeded by the lattice of atoms. For a superconductor the behaviour at low temperature is quite different, with zero resistance or perfect conductivity being possible.

Chapter Contents:

  • 6.1 Superconduction and electron waves
  • 6.1.1 Classical interpretation
  • 6.1.2 Cumulative quantum electrodynamics
  • 6.2 Resonance and coherence
  • 6.2.1 Ring resonator
  • 6.2.2 Pulses to waves
  • 6.3 Perfect conductivity
  • 6.3.1 Alloys
  • 6.3.2 Flux pinning
  • 6.3.3 Superconducting permanent magnets
  • 6.3.4 Recent developments
  • 6.3.5 Fullerenes and graphene
  • 6.4 Summary
  • 6.5 References

Inspec keywords: electric resistance; low-temperature techniques; superconducting transition temperature; superconducting materials; electrical engineering

Other keywords: conducting materials; perfect conductivity; electrical engineering perspective; absolute zero; superconductor behaviour; residual resistance; vibrating ions interference; electrical science; resistance versus temperature graphs; lattice of atoms; hot solid experience; free electrons; zero resistance

Subjects: Transport properties of superconductors; Superconducting critical temperature, occurrence; Superconducting materials; Other superconducting materials

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