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Room temperature superconductor

  1. May 24, 2012 #1
    Theoretically, if I had my usual, cheap, room-temperature superconductor :smile:, what could I do with it?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 24, 2012 #2
    depends on the critical magnetic field =) if that is too low then it's just gonna be long distance transmission wiring, if cost/mechanical strength is low/high enough. but since all high temp superconductors are type 2, I think that the critical field will be pretty high and you can use it for anything that currently uses superconductors, but won't need cooling fluids.
  4. May 24, 2012 #3


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    You could build a cheaper MRI machine. I bet TSA would love to give everyone at the airport an MRI to search for possible explosives hidden in body cavities. :cry:
  5. May 24, 2012 #4


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    If the choice was between that and the rubber gloves, I know which I'd opt for.
  6. May 24, 2012 #5
    Depending on how cheap you are talking about, you could replace copper wires in transmission lines. And then you could switch the grid to a lower, safer, voltage.

    You could revolutionize maglev train transport.

    If the superconductor was sufficiently neutron resistant, you could use it in fusion reactor magnetic field coils.
  7. May 25, 2012 #6


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    Aside from the TSA, it would be a major boon to the medical field if MRI's were cheap enough to buy and run that every doctor could have one in their office. You could get one at every checkup. It would make cancer screening far more effective.

    As for electric power, superconductors would not just help in the transmission side. You could make the generator itself superconducting. Superconducting motors and generators would have widespread applications and advantages from industry to transportation.
  8. May 25, 2012 #7
    1 - Very high Q tuned circuits

    2 - Energy storage. One of the primary limitations of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind is that they are not always online. We have to use coal burning plants to fill the gaps. If we had a way to *cheaply* store lots of energy this would be a major leap.
    Last edited: May 25, 2012
  9. May 25, 2012 #8
    Thank you very much for your detailed answers. I will have that in mind :smile:

    Now, let's say that I have to check and make sure that I did make a room-temperature superconductor. For an argument's sake, let's say that it is toroid shaped superconductor made from iron. Just like in ordinary toroid-shaped transformer. How could I check to see if this iron core is in fact a superconductor?

    Thank you for your great input! You are very helpful to me and my research project.
  10. May 25, 2012 #9


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    Induce a current in it, wait a while (depends on the geometry of your thing), measure the current (or the magnetic field). If it is still there, you have a superconductor.

    Try to get a magnetic field in this superconductor. If that fails, it is a superconductor. If not, it depends on the situation.

    While it is possible to make superconductors (of miserable quality) as a school project, I doubt that you can achieve new temperature records without a good lab to work with.

    If it is cheap enough:
    - low-voltage DC power transmission, basically without distance limits. A great thing for regenerative power sources.
    - higher efficiency for generators and motors, cheaper mavlev trains and energy storages, as mentioned
  11. May 30, 2012 #10
    Simplest check is probably to try hovering a magnet above it.
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