Browse Definitions:
Definition

superconductivity

Superconductivity is the ability of certain materials to conduct electric current with practically zero resistance. This capacity produces interesting and potentially useful effects. For a material to behave as a superconductor, low temperatures are required.

Superconductivity was first observed in 1911 by H. K. Onnes, a Dutch physicist. His experiment was conducted with elemental mercury at 4 degrees kelvin (approximately -452 degrees Fahrenheit), the temperature of liquid helium. Since then, some substances have been made to act as superconductors at higher temperatures, although the ideal -- a material that can superconduct at room temperature -- remains elusive.

Superconductors have been employed in, or proposed for use in, an enormous variety of applications. Examples include high-speed magnetic-levitation trains, magnetic-resonance-imaging (MRI) equipment, ultra-high-speed computer chips, high-capacity digital memory chips, alternative energy storage systems, radio-frequency (RF) filters, radio-frequency amplifiers, sensitive visible-light and infrared detectors, miniaturized wireless transmitting antennas, systems to detect submarines and underwater mines, and gyroscopes for earth-orbiting satellites. The Josephson junction and the superconducting quantum interference device use superconductors.

See an explanation of superconductivity and the Meissner effect:

This was last updated in October 2016

Continue Reading About superconductivity

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

rkplace adv.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • biometrics

    Biometrics is the measurement and statistical analysis of people's unique physical and behavioral characteristics.

  • principle of least privilege (POLP)

    The principle of least privilege (POLP), an important concept in computer security, is the practice of limiting access rights for...

  • identity management (ID management)

    Identity management (ID management) is the organizational process for identifying, authenticating and authorizing individuals or ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close