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Superconductivity: Has it changed or touched your life?
Superconductivity has been around for nearly 100 years. It was mostly thought of as a laboratory curiosity and yet this research area has won 6 Nobel Prizes in physics and has a very large number of scientists and engineers working in the research field.
I will discuss the history of superconductivity which operates only at either “high” temperatures of minus 200 degrees Celsius (discovered 20 years old this year) and “low” temperatures of about minus 270 degrees Celsius (96 years old this year).
I will explain what it is, what is understood and what is not about this exciting but baffling property of many materials when they are cooled down past a critical temperature. I will look at applications such as MRI, mineral exploration, Magnetoencephelography, transport and power distribution and use in the development to fusion as a future energy source. I will then look into the future to see where superconductivity will play a role in the modern world including quantum computers and quantum teleportation and ask whether superconductors, that operate at room temperature and do not need cooling, are possible.