Physicists have discovered more than 100 superconductors with critical temperatures that exceed those of the best conventional superconductors. The novel materials raised many questions, perhaps foremost among them: Can superconductors follow in the footsteps of their cousins, the semiconductors, and dramatically change our lives for the better? A qualified `yes' is not overly optimistic, because superconductors can touch every aspect of our existence that involves electricity. Superconducting trains, nearly perfect, large energy storage systems and ultrafast computers are not realistic goals at the moment, but plenty of other applications are, in principle, possible soon: efficient generation, transmission and storage of electricity; detection of electromagnetic signals too small to be sensed by conventional means; protection of electrical grids from power surges, sags and outages; and the development of faster and more compact cellular communications technology. This paper discusses the fundamentals, materials, prototype products and applications - present and future.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 1995 Sep|
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