FEB 25, 2019 04:42 PM PST

What Are Superconductors?

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Superconductors are materials that gain garner unique physical properties at extremely low temperatures. They specifically stop resisting an electric current allowing the current to pass through freely without loss of any energy. They are used in technologies such as MRI machines, electric motors, wireless communications systems and particle accelerators. However, superconductors have not always been quite understood but new interdisciplinary research on cuprate crystal systems, one of the most commonly used superconducting materials, may provide more answers.

A graphic illustration of a superconductor cuprate system.

Credit: Cockrell School of Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

Specifically, a research study published in Nature, confirmed the existence of a phase transition at a temperature close to absolute zero degrees, higher than the temperature required for many superconductors, in copper-oxide-based (or cuprate) superconductive materials. According to findings, researchers believe that during this phase transition, the "quantum critical point," is when superconductivity actually occurs.

Learn more on superconductors:

"'Quantum criticality' had been proposed as one potential factor for facilitating superconductivity in cuprate systems," explains research leader, Jianshi Zhou, a research professor of mechanical engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering and a member of The University of Texas at Austin's Texas Materials Institute. "Our study confirms this to be the case. Understanding why these materials become superconductors will lead us to this holy grail of room-temperature superconductors. It's only a matter of time, hopefully."

Source: University of Texas

 

About the Author
  • Nouran enjoys writing on various topics including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
NOV 22, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 22, 2019
Innovations that Can "Fuel" Our Future (Part I)
To reduce our reliance on fossil fuel, the global community needs to boost the presence of sustainable energy significantly. In the lineup of renewable ene...
NOV 22, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 22, 2019
Tackling Methane Emission: a Canadian Perspective
Back in  July 2016, Canada, the U.S., and Mexico signed an agreement on reducing the emission of methane, a greenhouse gas that's 34 times more po...
NOV 22, 2019
Cancer
NOV 22, 2019
Electronic "nose" sniffs out the best cancer treatment
Can you imagine an electronic device that is capable of figuring out which lung cancer patients will respond best to immunotherapy? If so, now try to imagi...
NOV 22, 2019
Technology
NOV 22, 2019
The Bionic Leg: Merging Man with Machine
Studies have given amputees hope of moving around. Bionic Leg is the Connection between body and Machine. Image Credit: Telegraph.co.uk New novel neuropros...
NOV 22, 2019
Clinical & Molecular DX
NOV 22, 2019
Patients can Self-Inject Easily Using an Integrated Pre-Filled Syringe and Autoinjector
The patients suffering from chronic disease require a regular dose of medicines, either orally or as injections. To prevent a monthly visit...
NOV 22, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 22, 2019
SpaceX Puts Another 60 Starlink Satellites Into Orbit
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that stood tall and proud at the launch pad at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station ignited its engines and lofted a g...
Loading Comments...