Superconductors are metals and compounds in which current can flow without electrical resistance. For this, they need extreme cold or extreme pressure.
FOUR NOBEL PRIZES IN PHYSICS
The transition from conductive to superconductive is sudden. In the case of lead, for example, this happens at a transition temperature of exactly minus 265.95 degrees Celsius.
In superconductivity, electrons move without resistance. How exactly is not always clear. One explanation: the electrons form pairs. This changes their quantum properties.
Superconductors displace externally applied magnetic fields from their interior. This is why a magnet placed over a superconductor can hover.
Superconductors measure small magnetic fields and generate large ones, for example in particle accelerators, fusion reactors and magnetic resonance scanners. They are also used in quantum computers, for energy storage and power lines.
WHAT ARE JÜLICH RESEARCHERS DOING?
They focus on suitable materials, create qubits in superconducting circuits and use superconductors for fusion devices and measurements on the heart.
Illustrations: Diane Köhne