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"In the late 1980s, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researchers conducted research into superconductors. The ceramic superconductors are made from a material that has only very low alternating-current resistance and thus dissipates less power. Magnetic forces between the magnet and ceramic superconductor provide a magnetic cushion that keeps the magnet suspended above the superconductor. Liquid nitrogen cools the superconductor to about 77 Kelvin, producing the magnetic cushion."  (Source: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)
Scientists observe how superconductivity truly works; advance efforts to find high temperature superconducting materials

One of the greatest mysteries of science is superconductivity.  Superconductivity, a term that entered popular lexicon with the advent of magnetic levitation, is an incredible phenomenon.  At extremely low temperatures certain materials known as superconductors lose almost all resistance to electricity and experience exclusion of the inner magnetic field -- also known the Meissner Effect. 

Traditional electric-conducting materials such as gold or copper have impurities that prevent them from superconducting.  These materials have a discrete resistance, even at absolute zero -- a theoretical point of zero Kelvins, or -273.14 degrees Celsius.  Superconductors experience resistance down to a critical temperature, known as Tc.  Once the temperature drops to this point, the materials begin to superconducting and reach a point of zero resistance.

Superconductors hold tremendous promise as a computer system utilizing a superconducting circuitry loop could exist indefinitely without a power source, and would be far more efficient as it would not output waste heat.
 
Extremely promising research occurred during the last three decades into discovering "high temperature" superconductors.  The first superconductors discovered required tremendous cooling to take them to almost absolute zero before superconduction. 

No room-temperature superconductor has been observed but the field experienced a revolution in 1986 with the discovery of cuprate-perovskite material superconductors, which could superconduct at temperatures in excess of 90 degrees Kelvin.  The highest temperature superconductor currently known is a ceramic material consisting of thallium, mercury, copper, barium, calcium, strontium and oxygen, which has a Tc= 138 K (-135.14 °C).  

These discoveries created materials that can achieve superconduction with mere liquid nitrogen cooling -- a relatively economical prospect. 

One difficulty in discovering higher temperature materials is that scientists did not understand what caused superconducting phenomena on an atomic level.  A great deal of research in quantum physics has gone into this topic, but much confusion remained.  Scientists knew that superconducting materials form pairs of electrons known as Cooper pairs. 
 
Researchers at the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory led by Professor of physics Pengcheng Dai claim to know the cause of superconductivity.  The team's work, published at Boston College (PDF), details how special subatomic vibrations in crystal latices dubbed phonons bind the electrons together magnetically, and thus allow superconduction. 

Dai claims in University of Tennessee press release, "These findings add to the understanding that magnetism plays a role in creating these important pairs.  This will not end the debate, but it's another step."

Still, this research, if it should withstand the eye of scrutiny of the scientific community, will be one of the most important breakthroughs in the understand of how superconduction works.  This in turn will allow scientists to easily and procedurally derive new high-temperature superconductors, pushing the temperature higher and higher, possibly one day into the room temperature range.


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Dammit. Went over my head.
By therealnickdanger on 1/2/2008 11:35:10 AM , Rating: 3
OK, I tried to wrap my mind around it. Are we talking about the possibility of a "perpetual machine" of some kind? If anyone can list some practical applications of this technology, it would really help me out.




RE: Dammit. Went over my head.
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 1/2/2008 11:39:09 AM , Rating: 5
In classical physics there is no such thing as perpetual machines. However, superconductive materials reduce friction to practically zero, so you could get pretty darn close to perpetual machines.

You notice all that heat coming off your computer? That's resistance somewhere. If you eliminate that resistance, imagine how fast computers could run -- since we wouldn't be restricted by cooling and other problems that come with resistance.


RE: Dammit. Went over my head.
By Alexvrb on 1/2/2008 1:49:15 PM , Rating: 2
"Superconductors hold tremendous promise as a computer system utilizing a superconducting circuitry loop could exist indefinitely without a power source, and would be far more efficient as it would not output waste heat."

More efficient, less heat, sure. Indefinitely without a power source? I don't think so, Jack.


RE: Dammit. Went over my head.
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 1/2/2008 4:36:23 PM , Rating: 4
A closed circuit constructed with superconducting material would certainly operate indefinitely, assuming you could keep it cold for free.

But if it was to do anything useful, like operate a transistor, you're introducing friction -- which would make indefinite operation not possible.


RE: Dammit. Went over my head.
By lompocus on 1/2/2008 5:50:47 PM , Rating: 1
what if the transistor itself is some sort of super mini superconductor?


By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 5:56:32 PM , Rating: 4
The whole point of a transistor is that it be a switching device, i.e. it controls current. If it were a superconductor (or even a normal conductor) it couldn't do its job properly. The semi-conducting properties are what makes it special.


RE: Dammit. Went over my head.
By billybob24 on 1/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: Dammit. Went over my head.
By Jammrock on 1/3/2008 8:52:42 AM , Rating: 3
A perpetual MACHINE and a perpetual CIRCUIT are two vastly different concepts. Please do not confuse them.

A perpetual MACHINE is impossible given our knowledge of physics. There are too many outside factors, such as friction, conservation of mass and energy, etc, that make such a contraption impossible.

A "perpetual CIRCUIT" on the otherhand would be possible IF the circuit could be made using perfect superconductive materials in a closed-loop. The difference is simple. In a perpetual curcuit there are no external forces that are being dealt with, like there are with a perpetual machine, and assuming the energy stored within the circuit never dissipates (which in a perfect superconductive circuit it would not) and/or is not released to any external medium, it would run for ever. This is simple electronics theory, and anyone who has taken college level electronics has studied and built circuits that could be perpetual IF reasonable superconductivity could be made.

In other words, the author is not wrong...theoretically. We can't build superconductive circuits so no one knows for sure.


By sandytheguy on 1/3/2008 11:33:44 AM , Rating: 2
A perpetual machine is not impossible. I have one, and I'll sell you the instructions for say $100.


RE: Dammit. Went over my head.
By geddarkstorm on 1/4/2008 2:58:59 PM , Rating: 2
We do have superconductive circuits, there's one in the lab I work in, takes up it's own room, it's called an NMR spectrometer. NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) works by cooling a mile or more of tightly wound wire down to nearly 2-4 Kelvin (using liquid helium, which then is kept cold using liquid nitrogen), sending an electric current through it which then remains indefinitely, and using that constant current to generate a massive magnetic field which can create bulk atomic magnetic moments (alignment of atomic spins in one direction or the other provided you're dealing with a nucleus that's a spin 1/2, like carbon-13) in say a protein you are studying. Then you can literally deduce the atomic structure and shape of said protein (or any molecule). Of course, there's a lot of other technical stuff that goes on, such as RF pulse sequences and then a lot of mathematical work: but the heart of the machine--that electromagnet--is a perpetual circuit that will never run down, but will always remain at say 16.4 Tesla (this is not completely true as the helium can't keep this kind of wire quite cold enough, so really in about a decade it might drop one thousandth of a percent in power; but on the scale of human time and life, it'll run forever provided it's cared for and refueled regularly).

So no, this is not theory but fact, and the author is completely correct. Given the right material at the right temperature, you can create a current that will last basically indefinitely: and we have those already in real life, known as NMR spectrometers.


RE: Dammit. Went over my head.
By Sythros on 1/7/2008 7:27:52 PM , Rating: 2
Kudos on dumbing down NMR. I myself am a chemist and have used NMR quite a lot. The instrument amazes me still to this day. And to think when it was developed they expected to get nothing but a single peak...


RE: Dammit. Went over my head.
By Rovemelt on 1/3/2008 12:26:50 PM , Rating: 2
I thought that the resistance is zero indefinitely for DC current, but not AC current in superconductor circuits. AC current creates magnetic fields that can interact with both the superconductor itself (minimally) and with objects that pass through the magnetic flux, which can lead to current leakage.


RE: Dammit. Went over my head.
By Jellodyne on 1/4/2008 10:51:52 AM , Rating: 3
The problem with a closed circuit with no resistance and no inputs, particularly a superconducting one, is that in a very short amount of time the voltage potential is equalized throughout the circuit and the flow of electrons stops. Its only the voltage differential provided by a power source that 'pumps' electrons through the system. So... if you mean 'do nothing' when you say 'operate indefinately' then I agree 100%.


RE: Dammit. Went over my head.
By Strunf on 1/2/2008 1:55:52 PM , Rating: 2
There's more than one way to cut the resistance on your computer, Intel for instance (and probably others) has shown prototypes of circuits that use light instead of electricity to rely information, like fiber optics but on a much smaller scale.

On your first sentence didn't you mix the things up, I mean even if you have some superconducting material at room temperature, how would that allow you make something that moves perpetually, superconductivity doesn't reduce friction.


RE: Dammit. Went over my head.
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 1/2/2008 4:39:24 PM , Rating: 2
I think a lot of research on the 10nm scale is basically just carbon nanotubes. CNTs are great insulators, but incredibly electrons can "slip" down CNTs very quickly, eliminating a ton of friction. Go figure :)


RE: Dammit. Went over my head.
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 4:44:51 PM , Rating: 2
Don't you mean great "conductor"? CNTs are supposedly the best thermal conductors known to man.


By ChronoReverse on 1/2/2008 5:04:22 PM , Rating: 2
What about superfluids? I thought those had super conductivity of heat.


By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 1/2/2008 5:34:57 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, I meant insulator, though CNTs are also great thermal conductors.

Some of the new materials I was introduced to by 3M are virtually identical in that they are composites made of CNTs, but depending on the angle of billions of aligned tubes the material can have vastly different properties.

For example, a heatsink announced a few months ago is basically just a bunch of CNTs aligned perpendicular to the base that feathers out up into copper fins.

Now if you take the same material in parallel to the heat source makes a great insulator.


By Diesel Donkey on 1/2/2008 8:47:02 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure if you're referring to a carbon nanotube as being a thermal insulator, but a CNT can behave electrically as a semi-metal or a semiconductor depending upon its radius. However, these characteristics are only true for the direction parallel to the nanotube. Each carbon atom has an extra electron that is not part of its bonds with the atoms around it, and depending on how things line up, that extra electron can be extremely mobile in the direction parallel to the nanotube.


RE: Dammit. Went over my head.
By Etsp on 1/2/2008 2:07:36 PM , Rating: 4
In a closed system with no resistance... Sure, but that also implies no output as well. So what good is a computer with no outputs?


RE: Dammit. Went over my head.
By fic2 on 1/2/08, Rating: -1
By SilthDraeth on 1/3/2008 10:33:01 AM , Rating: 1
LOL


RE: Dammit. Went over my head.
By codeThug on 1/3/2008 12:51:11 AM , Rating: 2
resistance is futile


RE: Dammit. Went over my head.
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 11:44:15 AM , Rating: 4
Applications for superconductors? I couldn't type them all if I had all day to spend on it. Here's just the top of the list:

Power storage
Power transmission
Ultra-efficient and compact electric motors
Magnetic levitation, Maglev trains, etc.
Faster computers that use far less power
Better medical technology (NMR imaging, etc)
More sensitive scientific instrumentation
etc...


RE: Dammit. Went over my head.
By Souka on 1/2/2008 1:12:07 PM , Rating: 3
power transmission would be a huge benifit to an econmical solution to power transmission over distance....

How much power is lost? Take a look at WIKI

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_power_transm...


By mrteddyears on 1/2/2008 11:44:37 AM , Rating: 3
Perpetual Popcorn making and the 1st Toyota Puris to reach 200mph and never run out of power.


RE: Dammit. Went over my head.
By Mitch101 on 1/2/2008 11:47:05 AM , Rating: 4
Impress Chicks.
and
Chris Angel - Mind Freak Season 4?


RE: Dammit. Went over my head.
By Terberculosis on 1/2/2008 12:01:30 PM , Rating: 2
The perpetual machine they are speaking of simply means that you could create a loop circuit in your system that does not need to be constantly replenished with more charge. I dont know how well it would work with processors, but with RAM at least, you would no longer need to continually re write the information saved in your ram. the superconducting pathways would never lose charge. so you would have permanent storage with all the benifits of modern RAM (Faster read read and write times mostly)


RE: Dammit. Went over my head.
By melgross on 1/2/2008 12:16:23 PM , Rating: 2
Anytime a bit is changed, energy must be input, and is output. A computer using superconducting elements would still consume energy, but would use far less of it.


RE: Dammit. Went over my head.
By DM0407 on 1/2/2008 3:25:22 PM , Rating: 2
I think everyone is getting stuck on the idea that this will be 100% self sufficient. What i find interesting about this is the computer speeds we could achieve. For Moore's Law to continue to hold true we needs advancements like this.

One of Toms Articles has already shown that Intel may hit electrical limits sooner than they would hit a thermal wall. Also with the increased number of transistors, that are likely to skyrocket with increased number of cores, heat will ALWAYS be an issue, think of the performance that could be archived by cores that would produce no detectable heat.

Anyway,with the advancement of batteries as well as the development of conservative electronics, where your power comes from shouldn't matter.


By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 1/2/2008 4:42:39 PM , Rating: 3
Well, does Moore's "Law" need to hold true? Moore himself claims its on its way out.

However, whenever the industry claims doom and gloom, some kid at a university makes another breakthrough on how we store information. The research on the 32nm node took more than 20 years to get to this point, and it seems pretty well on track. 22nm and less has been roadmapped for just as long, and there are a lot of very smart people working on this.

When those guys start predicting gloom and doom, then I'll worry :)


RE: Dammit. Went over my head.
By Tsuwamono on 1/2/2008 4:49:05 PM , Rating: 2
ya but what he is saying is that you could use RAM type memory as a storage medium such as a HDD because RAM is erased when you turn off the pc and remove the electricity. however with this technology you use power to read and write to it like we currently do but once you turn the pc off.. it stays there.. constantly being charged on its own.

I think it would be a bad ass solution. Having used RAM Drives before let me tell you, they are WAY faster then hard drives.. way faster..


By bobsmith1492 on 1/2/2008 12:02:58 PM , Rating: 2
They're already used in extremely-high current and voltage circuit breakers to limit inrush current before tripping of the breaker. A rod of superconducting material is placed in series with the circuit next to the breaker. When a short occurs or an extreme amount of current is drawn, the superconductor begins to resist once the maximum amount of current that can flow through the superconductor is reached. This helps keep the breaker contacts from fusing or melting or something destructive like that.


RE: Dammit. Went over my head.
By bupkus on 1/2/2008 3:09:55 PM , Rating: 2
A battery


What about space?
By Orbs on 1/2/2008 1:36:30 PM , Rating: 3
If space is cold enough to get some of these (relatively) warm superconducting materials to superconductivity, why not use them on the ISS or to power long-range vehicles, etc.?

I would think space can get most materials to -180 degrees C or lower (pure speculation, I would love some data on the matter).




RE: What about space?
By shanegl on 1/2/2008 3:18:41 PM , Rating: 2
The only way for space to "cool" an object is through the object losing heat by infra-red radiation. An object won't cool quickly in space, despite what science fiction depictions of people flung out of air locks would like you to think.


RE: What about space?
By HaZaRd2K6 on 1/2/2008 4:02:14 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps not, but an object in space would cool down much further because it would not reach a steady state until a much lower temperature.


RE: What about space?
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 4:13:55 PM , Rating: 2
> "but an object in space would cool down much further "

This is only true if that object is not continually being heated, by a use of electrical power or other heat sourced.

In practice, space is a near-ideal insulator of heat...essentially a giant vacuum thermos. It is for this reason that superconductors on spacecraft would in general need active cooling, just as they do here on Earth.


RE: What about space?
By IceMonkey82 on 1/3/2008 2:04:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
An object won't cool quickly in space, despite what science fiction depictions of people flung out of air locks would like you to think.


I believe the ideal gas law would describe what those science fiction movies are getting at. The explosive decompression from exiting the air lock would cause an extreme temperature drop.


The REAL story
By HercDriver on 1/2/2008 4:57:40 PM , Rating: 2
I've spent the last 6 years or so trying to completely comprehend what I believe to be the TRUE "GUT", or Grand Unified Theory of everything. If you are a fan of highly complex mathematics, which point to an elegant and simple explanation of how the universe really works, then head on over to www.blacklightpower.com and read Dr. Mills' 2000 page book. He explains the process for superconductivity, in addition to every other force, and particle in existence. I think, in a few years we'll be calling very smart people "Mills" instead of "Einstein".




RE: The REAL story
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 5:10:56 PM , Rating: 2
> "I think, in a few years we'll be calling very smart people "Mills" instead of "Einstein". "

Assuming Dr. Mills manages to stay out of prison for defrauding investors, that is. :p


RE: The REAL story
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 1/2/2008 5:40:30 PM , Rating: 2
Charles Goodyear spent most of his young adult life in debtors prison. It took him 38 years to finally vulcanize rubber, but he had to do a lot of prison time to get there!


RE: The REAL story
By Rovemelt on 1/3/2008 12:37:04 PM , Rating: 2
Poor Goodyear. His biography is interesting though, especially his attempts at making things from non-vulcanized rubber.


RE: The REAL story
By sweetsauce on 1/4/2008 3:07:29 AM , Rating: 2
I see more potential in aspden's work. From what i've read and can understand of his theories he seems to be on to something, but he'll never get taken seriously. http://www.aspden.org/


Larry Niven...
By qdemn7 on 1/2/2008 12:36:18 PM , Rating: 2
Used superconductors as a story device in some of his Known Space works. He mentions an important point.

A superconductor of electricity would also be a superconductor of heat.

True or False?




RE: Larry Niven...
By James Holden on 1/2/2008 12:41:00 PM , Rating: 2
False.


RE: Larry Niven...
By luhar49 on 1/2/2008 1:17:30 PM , Rating: 2
False

Air around a superconductor would act as an insulator for electricity but not for heat.


RE: Larry Niven...
By codeThug on 1/3/2008 12:56:52 AM , Rating: 2
however puppeteers move worlds, five at a time...


Kelvin
By Andvary on 1/2/2008 2:45:45 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry to be such a pest, but the absolute temoperature scale unit is kelvin, not degree. Zero kelvin , 90 kelvins , not zero degrees Kelvin or 90 degrees Kelvin. It's a common enough mistake though.




RE: Kelvin
By thereaderrabbit on 1/2/2008 4:37:10 PM , Rating: 2
There is another temperature typo too...

"Superconductors experience resistance up to a critical temperature, known as Tc."

Should be: "Superconductors experience resistance down to a critical temperature, known as Tc."

But seriously, thanks for putting together a good writeup : )


RE: Kelvin
By Fritzr on 1/4/2008 2:48:05 AM , Rating: 3
Before 1968 the scale was Kelvin, the unit was degree, degree absolute, degree(s) Kelvin or Kelvin degree(s). It was in 1968 that the International Standard designation was changed to designate a unit of the Kelvin temperature scale as a "kelvin". The pre 1968 usage is found in school textbooks dating as recently as the 1980s. The old usage is also still standard in common usage due to temperature being generally measured in degrees, with the value of one degree being defined by the temperature scale.

So we have degree Fahrenheit, degree Celsius, degree Centigrade, degree Rankine & the now obsolete degree Kelvin. All of these can be properly reversed as in 32 Fahrenheit degrees. In stating a measurement the word degree is optional as in 32 Fahrenheit.
Shorthand form is numeric degrees+F (Fahrenheit) C (Celsius/centigrade) K (Kelvin) R (Rankine)

I have heard that centigrade is also deprecated usage and that Celsius is the only accepted form now for that scale.

Celsius has the triple point of water set as -0- Celsius
Fahrenheit has the triple point of water-32 degrees Fahrenheit set as -0- Fahrenheit (triple point is +32F)
Rankine and Kelvin scales use Absolute Zero as zero point. Difference is that Rankine scale uses the Fahrenheit degree and Kelvin uses the Celsius degree.
Triple point is the temp at which the compound exists in all three common physical states, liquid, gas, solid.

triple point of water is
273.16 K
0.01 °C
32.018 °F
491.688 °R

Notice that contrary to normal usage, the formal usage of F, C, & R require a degree symbol. This form for Kelvin was part of the change enacted in 1968. Prior to that change the degree symbol preceded the K in formal usage.

Interesting points of history 100 degrees Fahrenheit was set as normal human body temperature. After the degree F was defined it was discovered that average body temp measured 98.6 °F. 100 °C was defined as the boiling point of water at one standard atmosphere of pressure. The actual value is just under 100 °C


Superconducting circuits
By mattclary on 1/3/2008 9:00:58 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not a physicist or an electrical engineer, but I do know you have to have a potential difference to make current flow.

Potential difference = voltage.

Now, you might one day run a Cray supercomputer on a AAA battery, but somehow doubt you will be able to have a useful circuit with no voltage applied.




RE: Superconducting circuits
By ChronoReverse on 1/3/2008 11:02:10 AM , Rating: 2
As a matter of fact, superconductors exhibit no voltage potential but can still carry current.


RE: Superconducting circuits
By rcc on 1/3/2008 12:31:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
As a matter of fact, superconductors exhibit no voltage potential but can still carry current


Correct. However, the actual circuit doing work will show some resistance and therefore a voltage drop. Connecting directly across a power source with a superconducter would be a bad thing, a bit like dropping wrench across your cars battery terminals, loud noises and smoke and fluids ensue. However, since the superconductor won't heat up and melt like the wrench, it would be worse. So, when using superconductors.... always use a current limited power source.


RE: Superconducting circuits
By Fritzr on 1/4/2008 3:02:31 AM , Rating: 2
The potential initiates the flow in a superconducting circuit. The flow then persists until resistance drains the potential energy that was inserted into the circuit. So a perfect superconductor with no interference will show a perpetual current flow. Insert a load of any kind in the circuit and you will see loss of potential energy due to drainage by the load.

Superconducting cables have been tested for high voltage current transmission. Since the waste heat generated by conductor resistance in power transmission is equal to the power that never reaches the end of the circuit, a superconducting cable is able to transmit power without measurable loss.

One of the research projects for alternative power supplies is looking at hydrogen. One of the problems with a centralized hydrogen source is distribution. One possible solution is piping liquid hydrogen through cryogenic pipelines. By wrapping a liquid hydrogen pipeline around a superconducting High Voltage line you solve two problems. One how to get the hydrogen from a central production plant to the corner gas station and Two how to get electricity from a central power plant to the neighborhood substation with minimal resistance loss. This solution has been tested and does work in the manner theory suggests

The current solution is to increase the voltage and transmit AC power. For a given wire size resistance loss goes up as voltage goes down & AC experiences lower loss than DC

Superconductors work better with DC, but there is no reason that DC->AC conversion cannot be done at the substation level.


Super Conductivity
By NakdeRobot on 1/6/2008 4:23:22 PM , Rating: 2
First of all the entire universe is one large perpetual motion device so for all you noobs that do not believe that one exists your WRONG....you part of one...so there endless amounts of perpetual motion machines all around us.

Second of all we can make super conductive circuits and we could easily put them on a large orbiting Space platform where they would work for ever never loosing any of the original current applied to them....

So there! bite my Colossal metal AZZZZZZ!




RE: Super Conductivity
By lagomorpha on 1/6/2008 10:40:26 PM , Rating: 2
1) The rate the universe is expanding is slowing down and entropy is constantly increasing. Eventually the universe will be nothing but background radiation, there will be no fuel left for stars or humans.

2) Sure they could hold all the original current... until you actually used them to do any work. Any work done by electrical current puts a resistive load on the circuit even if your load is powered by the electromagnetic flux that seeps around the circuit.


RE: Super Conductivity
By mattclary on 1/7/2008 8:00:05 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Super Conductivity
By mattclary on 1/7/2008 8:10:38 AM , Rating: 2
Don't mistake the fact that a truly inconceivable amount of energy was pumped into a mechanism for the fact that said mechanism is perpetual.


res
By tiburon on 1/2/2008 9:38:32 PM , Rating: 2
Correct me if im wrong,,but...V=i*r so I=v/r..
soo at 120v for a computer with no resisistance isnt that infinite current to ground.. I=120v/1 Ohm=120A ,,my breakers wont hold that..




RE: res
By kkwst2 on 1/2/2008 10:04:30 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, so it wouldn't be recommended to place your superconductor directly from your power source to ground. But then, you wouldn't put a regular conductor directly to ground either, I hope. Hopefully you have something in between that is doing some work, and thus has resistance.

For the example of a computer, the interconnects might be replaced by superconductors, but not the actual transistors (as others have pointed out, it's not called a semi-conductor for nothin'), unless there is a major paradigm shift in how computer logic is constructed.


Some factual errors here
By HilbertSpace on 1/2/2008 11:45:38 AM , Rating: 2
Bosons are not one specific type of subatomic particle. It's a name for all particles that have integer spin (versus half-integer). Electrons are in contrast fermions, and have half-integer spin. What the linked article talks about is phonons which are simply lattice vibrations in the crystal.




By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 1/2/2008 11:55:14 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks, this has been corrected


RE: Some factual errors here
By ksherman on 1/2/08, Rating: 0
More grammar check
By dluther on 1/3/2008 8:49:59 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Once the temperature drops to this point, the materials begin to superconducting and reach a point of zero resistance.


Should eliminate the "to" and be:

quote:
Once the temperature drops to this point, the materials begin superconducting and reach a point of zero resistance.




RE: More grammar check
By dluther on 1/3/2008 8:51:41 AM , Rating: 2
Also:

quote:
These discoveries created materials that can achieve superconducting


Should be superconductivity


Singluar / Plural
By Segerstein on 1/2/2008 2:17:30 PM , Rating: 3
sg. = phenomenon
pl. = phenomena

"is an incredible phenomena." just doesn't fit together.




Grammar Check!
By pauldovi on 1/2/2008 1:52:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Researchers University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory led by Professor of physics Pengcheng Dai claim


Should be:

quote:
Researchers at University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory led by Professor of physics Pengcheng Dai claim


Nice article, good attempt to dumb down the content for those non-engineer type.




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