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Uses of superconductors

Date : 24/01/12 10:18 PM


The JR – Maglev train in Japaa’s Yamanashi province floats above the trach using superconducting magnets.

This means that not only is the heating effect of the conductor in the magnet coils reduced to zero – it also means that the friction between the train and the track is eliminated and that the train can reach incredibly high speeds of up to 581 kmh-1.

Particle accelators, such as the Large Hardon Collider (LHC) at the CERN research facility in Switzerland, accelerate beams of charge d partcles to very high energies by making them orbit arround a circular track many times.

The particles are kept moving in the circular path by very strong magnetic fields produced by electromagnets whose coils are made from superconductors.

Much of our understanding of fundamental nature of matter is from doing experiments in which beams of these very high speed particles are made to collide with each other.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was developed in the 1940s.

It is used by doctors to examine internal organs without invasive surgery.

Superconducting magnets can be made much smaller than conventional magnets and this has enabled the magnetic fields produced to be much more precise, resulting in better imaging.

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