Conductivity Essay

This essay has a total of 542 words and 2 pages.

Conductivity

Super conductivity is a natural phenomenon in which certain materials such as metals,
alloys, and ceramics, can conduct electricity without resistance. These materials are what
we call superconductors. In a superconductor, once the flow of electrons begins, it
essentially goes on forever, making it an important material to humans. Superconductivity
was discovered by a Dutch scientist by the name of Heike Kamerlingh Onnes in 1911. While
researching properties of materials at absolute zero, this man found out that certain
materials lost its resistance to the flow of electrons. For years to come, his discovery
was at the head of theoretical interest. The only problem though, was that people at that
time could not even think of a way to produce such a temperature, to allow materials to be
superconductors at all times. This all changed in 1986 when Karl Muller and George Bednorz
were working at the IBM Research Division in Zurich, Switzerland. They found a material
that reached superconductivity at around 35 degrees Kelvin or -238 degrees Celsius. In the
next year, a team of Chinese-American physicists declared that they had found a material
that reached superconductivity at 92 degrees Kelvin. This was a big improvement. 92
degrees Kelvin is not a very high temperature, in fact, it is the equivalent of -181
degrees Celsius. Locating superconducting material above 77 degree Kelvin is a good thing
because it means that the material will be easily produced and used. A theoretical
understanding of superconductivity was advanced in 1957 by American physicists John
Bardeen, Leon Cooper, and John Schrieffer. Their Theories of Superconductivity became know
as the BCS theory (which came from each mans last name) and won them a Nobel prize in
1972. The BCS theory explained superconductivity at temperatures close to absolute zero.
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