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United Kingdom Science Technology

Cambridge Team Breaks Superconductor World Record 73

Posted by samzenpus
from the light-as-a-feather dept.
An anonymous reader writes University of Cambridge scientists have broken a decade-old superconducting record by packing a 17.6 Tesla magnetic field into a golf ball-sized hunk of crystal — equivalent to about three tons of force. From the Cambridge announcement: "A world record that has stood for more than a decade has been broken by a team led by University of Cambridge engineers, harnessing the equivalent of three tonnes of force inside a golf ball-sized sample of material that is normally as brittle as fine china. The Cambridge researchers managed to 'trap' a magnetic field with a strength of 17.6 Tesla — roughly 100 times stronger than the field generated by a typical fridge magnet — in a high temperature gadolinium barium copper oxide (GdBCO) superconductor, beating the previous record by 0.4 Tesla."
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Cambridge Team Breaks Superconductor World Record

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  • Re:Shielding (Score:4, Informative)

    by WaffleMonster (969671) on Monday June 30, 2014 @11:10AM (#47350341)

    One of the hazards that long duration space travelers will face is radiation. The Earth's magnetic field draws incoming particles to the poles, thus protecting us.

    Miles of atmosphere between earthly peeps and space stops most of it. Earths atmosphere provides equivalent protection of about 33 ft of water.

  • Re:Stronger? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2014 @11:18AM (#47350417)

    Field strength limit of a superconductor limits the current density it can carry before it loses superconductivity. Higher field strength limit means the same superconductor cross section can carry more current, or alternatively you need less superconductor for a given application. In some situations that can also affect what temperature is used too, as typically the colder the superconductor gets, the higher its field limit. A lot of high temperature superconductors that would superconduct with liquid nitrogen (~77 K) are used with liquid helium ( 4 K) because they can conduct more current that way. How useful this is to geometries and mechanical situations relevant to practical superconductor applications might be a different story though, at least in the short-run.

  • Re:Wrong symbol (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2014 @11:35AM (#47350557)

    You will find that in the field these materials are referred to as "YBCO, GdBCO etc etc" with only the rare earth as the full element. This is not wrong. HAve a look at the original paper which is freely available. http://iopscience.iop.org/0953-2048/27/8/082001 [iop.org]

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