The behavior of intermetallic superconductors, like the kind used in hospital MRI machines, is even more curious than recent Nobel Prize-winning physicist Alexei Abrikosov had theorized. In newly reported research,* scientists working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Center for Neutron Research have determined that so-called type II superconductors have the equivalent of a multiple personality---at least three distinct physical states, each with its own superconducting behavior. The result should help engineers design new materials for stronger, more efficient superconducting magnets.
Nearly 50 years ago, Abrikosov predicted that superconductors could retain superconductivity in a very strong magnetic field by forming tiny eddies of current. These vortices allow the field to pass through without disrupting the current, until a certain threshold is reached and the resistance-free flow of electrons ceases. Just before the collapse, however, the materials undergo a dramatic spike in current, called the peak effect.
Over a wide range of temperatures and magnetic field strengths, Brown University and NIST scientists tracked the movements of current eddies in a prototype type II superconductor, niobium. Their experiments yielded a phase diagram, a kind of a map that shows how current vortices rearrange in response to changes in temperature and magnetic field.
Mark Bello | EurekAlert!
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy