Where Do We Go From Here?

We hope that this guide has been a good introduction to the new, high temperature superconductors. The Experiment Kits represent a very unique opportunity for you to become involved in the very cutting edge of science. To many physical scientists these superconductors are still as novel as they may be to you.

High temperature superconductors are expected to have a major impact upon several industries. For example, in the United States today, it is estimated that fully one-half of the generated electricity is lost in transmission. Electric power transmission lines made from superconductors will loose little energy, resulting in major economic, environmental, and political impact. It is also possible to make extremely powerful magnets with superconductors which is revolutionizing basic research, medical diagnostics, resource recovery, and a host of other industrial fields. Magnetically levitated trains, frictionless magnetic bearings, vibration- free mounts will be among some of the first applications. Powerful and extremely fast computers can be made utilizing the Josephson Effect and other properties of superconductors. A host of sensors with esoteric names like SQUIDs (Superconducting QUantum Interference Device) and IR bolometers are already being used as probes for sensitive, non-invasive investigations in medicine, science, and defense technologies. As demonstrated by our Superconducting Energy Storage Kit, another application harnesses the persistent currents in superconductors to store electrical energy far more efficiently than in any extant battery with important application in lasers, space propulsion, and electricity generation and storage. Yet, it is in the completely new and unique applications of superconductivity that one should expect to see the greatest and most far-reaching implications.

While using a kit from CSI, you will become familiar with the use of liquid nitrogen. You will note that with due precautions, it is quite easy to handle. Therefore, even though the pursuit of ever higher Critical Temperatures continues, the superconductors on hand are already viable for commercial exploitation.

Rapid progress is occurring in this field. Scientists are discovering new features of these materials at a breathtaking rate. There are expectations that one day perovskite superconductors will be found that may function at room temperature. This will be an even more incredible breakthrough. As it is, one can quite easily use the current superconductors with simple refrigeration systems. With room temperature superconductors, we will perhaps witness an industrial revolution rivaling the magnitude of the last one.

Given the rate of progress, and the potential impact of this new discovery, it behooves us to keep up to date in this emerging field. The newspapers and even popular magazines carry articles about the new superconductors almost daily. These superconductors could very well be the basis of your job in the near future.

Information Courtesy of CSI Superconductors