Superconductors usable as propulsion devices?

In summary, the conversation discusses the possibility of using a particle with mass to tunnel through a superconductor and the potential equal-but-opposite-reaction effect it may have. However, the feasibility of this idea is questioned and it is stated that the physics of tunneling has not been demonstrated to work in this way.
  • #1
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If I were able to get a particle with mass to tunnel through a superconductor (for the sake of having a point, a long, thin, cylindrical one), would that mass's travel through the superconductor have the same equal-but-opposite-reaction effect as the same mass if it were accelerated to such speed by other means? I realize that the particle would return to it's original speed when it left the superconductor, but would it effect the momentum of whatever the superconductor was mounted on while going through the superconductor?

I (perhaps mistakenly) understand that particles (usually electrons) travel through superconductors instantly, the speed of light non-withstanding.

If both of the above mentioned things are true, then this would be a way to propel a vessel faster than the speed of light, yes?
 
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  • #2
ocalhoun said:
If I were able to get a particle with mass to tunnel through a superconductor (for the sake of having a point, a long, thin, cylindrical one), would that mass's travel through the superconductor have the same equal-but-opposite-reaction effect as the same mass if it were accelerated to such speed by other means? I realize that the particle would return to it's original speed when it left the superconductor, but would it effect the momentum of whatever the superconductor was mounted on while going through the superconductor?

I (perhaps mistakenly) understand that particles (usually electrons) travel through superconductors instantly, the speed of light non-withstanding.

If both of the above mentioned things are true, then this would be a way to propel a vessel faster than the speed of light, yes?

No, it isn't.

Have you seen any particle that can tunnel through a realistic, physical material? Try shooting a beam of electrons through a material. Do you see any "tunneling effect"?

You cannot use a phenomenon to do something if that phenomenon hasn't been demonstrated to be true. You are applying the physics of tunneling, but not in ways in which we know it to work. I posted about a week ago on here a review of tunneling spectroscopy of High Tc superconductors. This type of phenomenon has been verified. The one you're suggesting, has not!

Zz.
 
  • #3


I cannot provide a definitive answer to this question as it is still a topic of ongoing research and debate in the field of superconductivity. However, I can provide some information and potential insights.

Firstly, it is important to note that superconductors are materials that exhibit zero electrical resistance and can conduct electricity without any loss of energy. They are not inherently related to propulsion or movement, but rather are used in various applications such as MRI machines, particle accelerators, and high-speed trains.

In terms of using superconductors for propulsion, there have been some theoretical proposals and experiments conducted, but there is currently no conclusive evidence that superconductors can be used as a propulsion device. The idea of using superconductors for propulsion is based on the concept of quantum levitation, where a superconductor can trap and levitate a magnetic field above it, allowing for frictionless movement.

However, the idea of using superconductors for propulsion raises many questions and challenges. One major challenge is the conservation of momentum. While the particle may travel through the superconductor at high speeds, it would still have to obey the laws of conservation of momentum. This means that the momentum gained by the particle must be balanced by an equal and opposite momentum on the superconductor. This could potentially lead to the superconductor experiencing a force in the opposite direction, but the magnitude of this force would depend on various factors and is not yet fully understood.

Additionally, the idea of using superconductors for propulsion to achieve speeds faster than the speed of light is not supported by current scientific understanding. The theory of relativity states that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, and it is currently accepted as a fundamental principle in physics.

In summary, while the concept of using superconductors for propulsion is intriguing, there are still many unanswered questions and challenges that need to be addressed before it can be considered a viable technology. More research and experimentation is needed to fully understand the potential applications and limitations of superconductors in this regard.
 

1. What are superconductors?

Superconductors are materials that have the ability to conduct electricity with zero resistance at very low temperatures. This means that electric current can flow through them without any loss of energy.

2. How can superconductors be used as propulsion devices?

Superconductors can be used as propulsion devices by creating a magnetic field around them and then using the repulsive force between the magnet and the superconductor to propel an object forward.

3. What are the advantages of using superconductors as propulsion devices?

One of the main advantages of using superconductors as propulsion devices is that they are extremely efficient, with almost no energy lost during the propulsion process. They also have the potential to reach very high speeds and can be used in a variety of environments, such as space or underwater.

4. What are the challenges of using superconductors as propulsion devices?

One of the main challenges of using superconductors as propulsion devices is the need for extremely low temperatures to maintain their superconducting properties. This requires complex and expensive cooling systems. There are also challenges in designing and controlling the magnetic fields needed for propulsion.

5. Are there any current applications of superconductors as propulsion devices?

While there are ongoing research and development in using superconductors as propulsion devices, there are currently no practical applications in the real world. However, some prototypes have been tested and there is potential for future use in space travel and transportation systems.

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