Zero Resistance? Non-Physicist Asks About Superconductivity

In summary, the conversation discusses the concept of zero resistance in superconductivity and whether it is truly zero or a very low non-zero figure. The participants mention the experimental limitations in measuring resistance and the presence of rf resistance in superconductors. It is noted that there is no theoretical basis for resistance in superconductors.
  • #1
seerongo
47
0
Hi,
As an interested non-physicist, may I ask a possibly naive question concerning superconductivity? It seems that every reference I ever see regarding superconductivity, they always refer to resistance as zero. Now, I've had the opportunity in my previous work to measure large currents in MRI magnets and it always impressed me to see not one whit (engineering term) of decrease in current over periods of years of uninterrupted service. Still, the concept of zero resistance is so counterintuitive, even after reading about cooper pairs, etc, that I've always wanted to ask:
Is it literally zero or some really low but non-zero figure?
 
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  • #2
It is literally zero in the sense that the upper bound for the resistivity is set by experimental capability - no experiment I know of has measured a non-zero voltage drop across a SC that exceeded the minimum resolvable signal.
 
  • #3
Thanks for the reply. So I'll assume that there is no theoretical basis for a resistance, which is what I was wondering. Still, with the resolutions available to experimenters these days, it is interesting that no resistance has been measured.
 
  • #4
There is rf resistance in superconductors.
 
  • #5
I'm guessing the OP has only DC resistance in mind. Besides, the AC resistance has more to do with charge carriers having a non-zero mass.

Zz.
 

Related to Zero Resistance? Non-Physicist Asks About Superconductivity

1. What is zero resistance?

Zero resistance refers to the phenomenon of a material having no resistance to the flow of electrical current. This occurs when the material is at or below its critical temperature and is known as superconductivity.

2. How does zero resistance work?

Zero resistance is a result of the electrons in a superconductive material forming pairs called Cooper pairs. These pairs can move through the material without any opposition, allowing for the flow of electrical current with no energy loss.

3. What are the practical applications of zero resistance?

The practical applications of zero resistance include highly efficient power transmission, magnetic levitation, and the creation of sensitive instruments such as MRI machines. It also has potential uses in quantum computing and particle accelerators.

4. What are the challenges in achieving zero resistance?

One of the main challenges in achieving zero resistance is maintaining the low temperatures required for superconductivity. The critical temperature for most materials is below -200 degrees Celsius, making it difficult and costly to maintain. Additionally, creating materials that are both highly conductive and superconductive can be a challenge.

5. Is it possible to achieve zero resistance at room temperature?

Currently, no material has been discovered that can achieve zero resistance at room temperature. However, scientists are continuously researching and exploring new materials and methods in an effort to achieve this goal. It remains a major area of interest and potential breakthrough in the field of superconductivity.

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