In this talk Professor James Annett will review the state of this exciting field, including the state of our understanding of the fundamental physics of superconductors as well as the current and future applications of superconducting materials technology.
In 1911 one of the most remarkable physical properties of matter was discovered. H Kammerlingh Onnes working at the University of Leiden noticed that when cooled to a temperature of about 4 degrees above absolute zero a sample of mercury suddenly lost all of its electrical resistance. This was the discovery of superconductivity. Since then a host of new materials have been discovered which have this property, and new superconducting materials are still being discovered every year. Some of these materials have become commercially very important and are now used in large scale projects, for example in the 1500 magnets which are essential to the design and operation of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. Many hospitals now possess MRI scanners containing superconducting magnet technology, while some cities are beginning to incorporate superconducting wires into the electrical power grid. Other applications, including magnetic levitating (MAGLEV) trains are quite possible for the future. Attendance free, non-members welcome. Refreshments from 19:00, talk begins 19:30.