Tagged With superconductors

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Last year, a massive, 15.4-tonne, 15.85m wide electromagnet was successfully shipped from Long Island to Illinois. This week, it hit another milestone: It was successfully chilled to absolute zero temps after 10 years' inactivity, proving it's ready to solve a whole new decade's physics mysteries.

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Superconductors are supposed to change the world. The only problem is that all of the materials we've used to produce need to be kept at near absolute zero temperatures in order to be superconducting. (See above.) But now, thanks to high-powered lasers, scientists successfully made a piece of ceramic superconducting at room temperature.

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Over the past four decades, the field of astrophysics has enjoyed a pair of massive technological advances. First, we jumped from archaic photographic plates that relied on chemical emulsions to charge couple devices (CCDs). Now, the transition from CCDs to hyperspectral imaging devices that utilise exotic superconducting materials could change how we see the stars forever.

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Everyone always bangs on about superconductors as if they're some super-amazing scientific miracle, but where's the proof, eh? Eh? Umm, here it is: check out how they compare to plain old normal conductors, and you'll be gobsmacked.