Evaluating how temperature affects superconductor perfromance becomes more precise

July 19, 2000

Unique in their capacity to conduct electricity without resistance, superconductors may serve to transport electric currents across vast distances and can be used in a variety of industrial and transportation technologies. A considerable number of these innovations are based on the ability to manipulate the way in which superconductors are penetrated by magnetic fields.

The fields infiltrate some of the superconductors in the form of tiny whirlpools, or vortices, each containing a weak magnetic flux at its core. These whirlpools should usually settle at equal distances from each other, in a fashion similar to the arrangement of molecules within a solid crystal. However, Prof. Eli Zeldov of the Weizmann Institute's Department of Condensed Matter Physics has previously proven that under certain conditions this solid "crystal" may undergo a "meltdown" so that the whirlpools are transformed to a disorganized state resembling the material's liquid structure.

In the present study, due to appear in the July 20 issue of Nature, Zeldov, doctoral student Alexander Soibel, and research associates Yuri Myasoedov and Michael Rappaport succeeded in visualizing the transition of these magnetic whirlpools from their solid to liquid state and back again, when exposed to temperature variations. To do so, they built a unique optical microscope measuring system based on directing a polarized light at an optical gauge on the superconductor surface, and measuring the resultant change in polarized light reflected back from the sample.

The system, which is more than one hundred times more sensitive than previous methods, reveals how temperature changes cause the whirlpool solid to melt or alternatively form complex solid-liquid patterns. By taking sequential images, the Weizmann scientists were able to create a "movie" capturing the nucleation and propagation of the melting and freezing processes. These recordings should further the understanding of how temperature changes affect superconductor performance, including the influence of material defects within the superconductor.
-end-
This research was funded by the Philip Klutznick Endowed Scientific Research Fund and the Robert and Giampiero Alhadeff Research Award. Prof. Eli Zeldov holds the David and Inez Myers Chair of Condensed Matter Physics.

American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science

Related Superconductors Articles from Brightsurf:

Progress in electronic structure and topology in nickelates superconductors
Recently, superconductivity was discovered in the hole-doped nickelates, wh ich provide us a new platform to study the mechanism of high-temperature superconductivity.

UCF researcher zeroes in on critical point for improving superconductors
Developing a practical ''room temperature'' superconductor is a feat science has yet to achieve.

Connecting two classes of unconventional superconductors
The understanding of unconventional superconductivity is one of the most challenging and fascinating tasks of solid-state physics.

Superconductors are super resilient to magnetic fields
A Professor at the University of Tsukuba provides a new theoretical mechanism that explains the ability of superconductive materials to bounce back from being exposed to a magnetic field.

New advance in superconductors with 'twist' in rhombohedral graphite
An international research team led by The University of Manchester has revealed a nanomaterial that mirrors the 'magic angle' effect originally found in a complex man-made structure known as twisted bilayer graphene -- a key area of study in physics in recent years.

A new way towards super-fast motion of vortices in superconductors discovered
An international team of scientists from Austria, Germany and Ukraine has found a new superconducting system in which magnetic flux quanta can move at velocities of 10-15 km/s.

Controlling superconductors with light
IBS scientists has reported a conceptually new method to study the properties of superconductors using optical tools.

Superconductors with 'zeitgeist' -- When materials differentiate between past and future
Physicists at TU Dresden have discovered spontaneous static magnetic fields with broken time-reversal symmetry in a class of iron-based superconductors.

Hydrogen blamed for interfering with nickelate superconductors synthesis
Prof. ZHONG Zhicheng's team at the Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering has investigated the electronic structure of the recently discovered nickelate superconductors NdNiO2. They successfully explained the experimental difficulties in synthesizing superconducting nickelates, in cooperation with Prof.

A closer look at superconductors
From sustainable energy to quantum computers: high-temperature superconductors have the potential to revolutionize today's technologies.

Read More: Superconductors News and Superconductors Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.