Superconductor and Superconductivity to reduce Electrical Resistance

(Last Updated On: March 30, 2021)


In this article we will discuss talk about Superconductors back in time when scientists are dealing with electronics and discover the voltage, current, and power and they knew that they had to have a conductive material to make the electronics flow through it but they noticed when an electric current passed through a conductor some of the energy is lost in two forms like heat and light and these lost amount of power is depending on individual materials electrical resistance and that was not good in some situations. So they started to think how to get the best results from it and how not to lose any powers in any forms so they started to search for low resistance materials and they found gold and copper. They are very good conductive materials because of their low resistance and after that they discovered a direct relation between temperature and resistance that’s mean the colder these materials all the more conductive they become but no matter how cold you make gold or copper.

Electricity in our world has always used resistance the filament of a light resists the flow of electricity and becomes white-hot, the element of an electric kettle becomes hot the cause of electrical resistance appear to be a law but in 1911 kamerlingh honest used liquid helium to cool mercury to about 450 degrees below zero Fahrenheit suddenly the mercury lost all resistance owners had discovered perpetual electrical motion superconductivity at temperatures approaching absolute zero. A current will flow forever in a superconducting loop; without resistance huge currents can be transmitted if the temperature is kept cold enough. Those currents will generate immense magnetic fields which can do work.


It will always show some electrical resistance in 1911 the Dutch physicist hiked Emeline discovered when mercury is cooled all the way down to four point degree above absolute zero it’s resistance disappears and that was when the first Superconductor discovered and after that they discovered more materials shows zero electrical resistance at a certain low temperature so at the benefit you get from the Superconductors. When the resistance is zero electricity conduct perfectly without any loss and from that we theoretically can make a current flow through a closed loop forever with no loss in power and that’s not the only property Superconductors have it also don’t let any magnetic field pass through it in stage the field will remain on the surface. This explosions of magnetic field is known as the medicinal and you probably seen the Meissner effect in action and science experiments like this a magnet a sit on top of a superconducting material in room temperature as shown nothing happened until it cooled down by using liquid nitrogen to its critical temperature. Here the Meissner effect kicks in causing that magnet to left in and for sure the Superconductors not made to only make this trick. There are a lot of cool application using Superconductors like MRI machines and super fast trains Superconductors are very useful materials and I’m sure you’ve asked it yourself lately why we don’t have it at home already if we use it. it will feel no loss in power that means we can provide our homes with the electricity without a generator or any source of power well that’s right but however you need to know the Superconductors only have this connection when it cooled down to its critical temperature and without that factor its normal conductor material and it’s hard to provide this factor in normal places like homes because it needs a lot of preparations and safety that’s why the scientists are searching for a high temperature Superconductors. These materials have high critical temperature and it’s easy to be reached at room temperature and with these materials it will be easy to provide the perfect atmosphere at any place for them.

it track a doctor uses an mri scanner to detect disease, fast digital circuits send super fast clear signals from one source to another. These technologies are possible thanks to Superconductors. Superconductors are materials where electrons can move without any resistance but today’s Superconductors don’t work unless they are cooled to well below room temperature. Now researchers are using quantum physics on a quest to find Superconductors that will work at room temperature to make them easier to use inside science. There’s been a problem in physics that researchers are trying to solve for years can we find something that can superconduct at room temperature. If we find it, it will revolutionize how we transport and use energy if you had a room temperature Superconductor in your pocket you then hope that there might be some very interesting applications that would come out of this when you cool lead mercury and certain compounds to extremely cold temperatures. They become Superconductors they stop showing any electrical resistance and they expel their magnetic fields which makes them ideal for conducting electricity. But you need to use liquid helium if you are trying to get down to absolute zero or minus 459 degrees Fahrenheit that’s why physicists want to find a high temperature Superconductor that will work at room temperature it’s just downright easier to work with researchers discovered superconductivity in 1911 by the 60s they thought they had solved all of its mysteries but in 1986 two scientists in zurich discovered Superconductors that work at higher temperatures than researchers thought were ever possible this set off a gold rush of activity because people were really surprised that this could happen it occurred also in oxide materials which was totally unexpected. These materials work as high temperature Superconductors up to minus 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Now that we have materials that can superconduct above the boiling point of nitrogen we can finally use them in certain applications neither MRI machines or the particle accelerator at cern would have been possible without the use of liquid helium cooled superconducting electromagnets superconductivity is what i would call an emergent property of materials it. it is not something that you can predict by just knowing how a few atoms work or a few electrons work researchers still do not understand how to predict which material will be a high temperature Superconductor or what causes their superconductivity. These new Superconductors have many very strange properties that are not understood even today they just don’t follow the normal parading that we are used to for conventional metals green is studying copper oxide and iron-based Superconductors for clues on why the electrons inside them act in such an unconventional way solving the problems that come with higher temperature Superconductors green believes researchers will discover a room temperature Superconductor in the next 30 years if that happens it could solve one of the greatest mysteries of physics at the tiniest level this is inside science.

Today we know how to handle the super cold liquids that make superconductivity possible.  We even ship them around the universe because rockets use super cold liquid hydrogen for fuel using super cold liquids. We can begin to build the first practical superconducting machines this tiny tube carries liquid helium to super cooled. The rotor of a superconducting generator the tube must be a tiny steel walled vacuum bottle like your thermos but it must be far more effective to work at 450 degrees below zero. This conventional magnet uses 5 million watts of electricity to produce a huge magnetic field 500,000 times as strong as the Earth’s its electrical resistance is so high it needs 800 gallons of water a minute to keep it from exploding the superconducting magnet just as powerful draws only a small amount of power for cooling pollution of the air and water the threat to our life-sustaining resources must be overcome smart choked skylines can be seen and felt in the nose and throat and lungs rivers in urban areas are still safe to sail over the deadly to swimming and deadliest ill to drink. Superconductors may be the answer almost everything is attracted by a big enough magnetic field even pollutants can be separated from water with superconducting magnets dr. Henry Cole of MIT there now designing a magnetic filtration unit which will take all the coliform bacteria and suspended solids out of this water and make it clear again and this is possible only because superconductivity makes it feasible to generate magnetic fields.

Impact of Superconductors:

we are always short of electricity, especially from cheap and renewable sources. However, something like half our electric production simply goes to waste as heat in the electric lines from your local power plant to the power outlet in your wall. The longer the line, the more is wasted, and so often even better and more efficient power options can’t be used because the distance involved makes it less efficient. Solar panels located in the desert with ample sunlight, but far from human habitation, lose too much power to transmission distances.


Solar is also off half the day at night time and weak when it’s cloudy, but the Earth generally has a steady supply somewhere. If distance was not an issue, we could easily supply everyone all day from solar because it is a bright sunny day somewhere.

Why is this?

Well, most folks are familiar with the idea of electrical conductivity and resistance, that any given electric wire – or any other substance – has a certain resistance that any electricity passing through it must overcome, and it acts like friction on a car, the road friction and air drag just slow you down and leech energy that must be replaced. Wires do this and power leaks out, wasted as heat. Now metals in general tend to have lower resistance than many other materials, which is to say that they conduct electricity better and often have a much lower resistance as temperature drops. We would hypothesized it might drop to zero at low enough temperatures, possibly only at absolute zero, but in 1911 Heike Onne found that mercury at 4 Kelvin had absolutely zero resistance. Scientists found some more materials that could also do this, superconduct, but the problem was all of them had to be ultra-cold, temperatures not found anywhere on this planet outside a laboratory, or indeed anywhere in this solar system, so its industrial application was pretty limited. Particularly since those temperatures could only be achieved with Liquid Helium, which is vastly more expensive to make than Liquid Nitrogen largely in part to Helium’s scarcity here on Earth. While wrapping all our electrical lines in sheaths of liquid helium would have dealt with wasted electricity, it would also have required a huge output of power and money to supply all that refrigerant as it warmed. We also had no idea how superconducting was happening, and we had thought it would need to be near absolute zero. We will get to why in a moment, but first we should note that since a superconducting wire can have an electric current flow through it without diminishing, and since running current through a coil produces a magnetic field, a Superconductor can produce a constant magnetic field for free – except for the cost of cooling it and the initial current input. This is why Superconductors are often shown levitating things such as magnets, so long as you keep them cold enough to superconduct, they will keep levitating. This is still not free energy, as magnetic fields do not do work, in the physical sense. A charged object in one can change direction but it retains the same total kinetic energy. It can circle around for instance, same as a planet orbiting in a gravitational field. So Superconductors are not what people call perpetual motion machines, in that they don’t generate free energy or violate the Laws of Thermodynamics, though they could allow an object in a vacuum chamber to remain perpetually in motion. That’s the issue with superconductivity in the first place.

In an ideal metal or crystal, all the atoms are nicely lined up and so a wave, like that of an electron carrying charge and electric current, could go through unimpeded, with no resistance. In practice that perfect lattice of atoms is not going to be perfect, some atoms will be out of place or the wrong kind, the metal not being perfect pure. There are many other factors that can impact resistance and conductivity, some of which are not temperature based.

Applications of Superconductors:

Superconductivity is a phenomena of exactly zero electrical resistance and expulsion of magnetic fields occurring in certain materials when cooled below a characteristic critical temperature. Generally the electrical resistivity of an ordinary metallic conductor decreases gradually as temperature is lowered even near absolute zero a real sample of a normal conductor shows some resistance but in a Superconductor the resistance drops abruptly to zero. When the material is cooled below its critical temperature an electric current flowing through a loop of superconducting wire can persist indefinitely with no power source. This property of a Superconductor has enabled us to use Superconductors in many applicants and machines and a Superconductor have many uses in the modern world some of the major applications of Superconductors are electromagnets. Superconductors are some of the most powerful electromagnets known these magnets are used for magnetic separation when a superconducting magnet is placed over a mixture of weakly magnetic particles and less or non-magnetic particles the weak magnetic particles gets attracted to the superconducting magnet magnetic levitation. A Superconductor repels the magnetic lines when cooled below the critical temperature that is it repels a magnet when approached toward set this property is used in operating maglev trains maglev is short for magnetic levitation the tracks are supported with propulsion coil and levitation and guidance coil. The Train in its base has Superconductor magnets since the Superconductor repels a magnet the maglev train floats in the air using the propulsion coil and the magnets placed in the base of the Train. The Train moves over the tracks.

Properties of Superconductor

The superconducting materials show some amazing properties which are essential for current technology. The research on these properties is still going on to recognize and utilize these properties in various fields which are listed below.

  • Infinite Conductivity/ Zero Electric Resistance
  • Meissner Effect
  • Josephson Currents
  • Persistent Currents
  • Transition Temperature/Critical Temperature
  • Critical Current

Infinite Conductivity/ Zero Electric Resistance

In the superconducting state, the material has zero resistance. When the temperature of the material is reduced below the critical temperature, its resistance suddenly reduces to zero. Mercury is an example of a superconductor that shows zero resistance below 4 kelvin.

Meissner Effect

Meissner effect, the expulsion of a magnetic field from the interior of a material that is in the process of becoming a superconductor, that is, losing its resistance to the flow of electrical currents when cooled below a certain temperature, called the transition temperature, usually close to absolute zero.

Josephson Currents

Until a critical current is reached, a supercurrent can flow across the barrier; electron pairs can tunnel across the barrier without any resistance. But when the critical current is exceeded, another voltage will develop across the junction. That voltage will depend on time–that is, it is an AC voltage.

Persistent Currents

When dc current of large magnitude is once induced in a super conducting ring then the current persists in the ring even after the removal of the field. This current is called persistent current. This is due to diamagnetic property.

Transition Temperature/Critical Temperature

The temperature below which the material changes from conductors to superconductors is called critical temperature or transition temperature. The transition from conductors to superconductors is sudden and complete.

Critical Current

When the current supplied through a conductor under the condition of superconducting, then a magnetic field can be developed. If the current flow increases beyond a certain rate then the magnetic field can be enhanced, which is equivalent to the critical value of the conductor at which this returns to its usual condition. The flow of current value is known as the critical current.

Superconductor Materials:

Superconductor material classes include chemical elements (e.g. mercury or lead), alloys (such as niobium–titanium, germanium–niobium, and niobium nitride), ceramics (YBCO and magnesium diboride), superconducting pnictides (like fluorine-doped LaOFeAs) or organic superconductors (fullerenes and carbon nanotubes;

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About the Author: Engr Fahad

My name is Shahzada Fahad and I am an Electrical Engineer. I have been doing Job in UAE as a site engineer in an Electrical Construction Company. Currently, I am running my own YouTube channel "Electronic Clinic", and managing this Website. My Hobbies are * Watching Movies * Music * Martial Arts * Photography * Travelling * Make Sketches and so on...

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