Discuss the advantages of using superconductors and identify limitations to their use

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Discuss the advantages of using superconductors and identify limitations to their use

  • Advantageous properties of superconductors include:
    • Can carry large currents.
    • Eliminate energy loss through heat.
    • Can generate very strong magnetic fields.
  • Application, both current and possible, of superconductors include:
    • Power transmission with no energy loss through heat.
    • Particle accelerators that use superconducting electromagnets, which are cheaper to run because they use less electricity to produce the needed magnetic fields.
    • Computer chips containing superconductivity films, which allow further miniaturisation and increased speeds.
    • Electric generators with superconducting wire, which are more efficient and smaller than those using copper.
    • Magnetically levitated trains.
  • Limitations to the use of semiconductors include:
    • Difficulties sustaining extremely low temperatures required for superconductivity.
    • Superconducting materials are often brittle, hard to manufacture, and difficult to form into wire.
    • Can only transmit DC current.