Discovering Superconductivity: An Investigative Approach

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Gren Ireson
John Wiley & Sons, Jul 30, 2012 - Technology & Engineering - 192 pages
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Superconductivity is a quantum phenomenon that manifests itself in materials showing zero electrical resistance below a characteristic temperature resulting in the potential for an electric current to run continually through such a material without the need for a power source. Such materials are used extensively in medical and power applications, e.g. MRI and NMR machines.

Discovering Superconductivity uses a series of practical and investigative activities, which can be used as tutor demonstrations or as student lab exercises.

This highly illustrated text features the following sections:

  • Introduction - including a brief history of superconductivity
  • Superconductivity - an explanation of the phenomenon and its effects
  • Superconducting materials – including High & Low temperature   superconductors
  • Applications – how superconductivity is used in medical imaging, at CERN and in the Maglev trains

This text will serve as an excellent introduction for students, with or without a physics background, to superconductivity. With a strong practical, experimental emphasis, it provides readers with an overview of the topic preparing them for more advanced texts used in advanced undergraduate and post-graduate courses.

PowerPoint files of the figures presented within this text are available at:

A word from the author: "The intention of this text is to introduce the reader to the study of superconductivity via a minds-on approach .... The minds-on approach takes this a stage further by requiring the learner to engage with the process to a greater extent."


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List of Tables
To the Student
A Brief History of Superconductivity
The MeissnerOchsenfeld Effect
Diamagnetic Effects
Persistence of Current
Type I and Type II Superconductors
HighTemperature Superconductors
Medical Imaging
CERN and the
Maglev Trains
Flux Penetration

Flux Pinning

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