What are some uses of superconductors

Materials in Electronics and Power Engineering pp 195-209 | Cite as

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The discovery of the phenomenon of superconductivity goes back to the Dutch scientist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, who researched the temperature-dependent electrical properties of conductors at the beginning of the 20th century. The research was made possible because K. Onnes had successfully liquefied helium in 1908. Under normal conditions (room pressure), helium has a liquefaction temperature of 4.2 K which in the superfluid phase (negative pressure) are even significantly below 2 K can be lowered. This opened the way for the first time to examine the properties of materials at very low temperatures close to absolute zero. In 1911 K. Onnes observed an abnormal behavior in the temperature-dependent course of the metal mercury. Below the temperature of 4.1 K the specific resistance suddenly dropped to zero and reached the so-called superconducting state. For his discovery of metallic superconductivity, K. Onnes was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1913. Another milestone in superconductor research was achieved by the two researchers K. Bednorz and A. Müller, who demonstrated high-temperature superconductivity on ceramic perovskite structures for the first time in 1986 and for this also received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1987.

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© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Materials ScienceFriedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-NürnbergErlangenGermany