Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy

Year 4 - Part III / MASt - Course M13

Magnetic and Superconducting Materials - Dr S C Hopkins

Magnetism has been known and applied since ancient times, and is a familiar phenomenon in our everyday lives. A detailed understanding of magnetism and its relation to electricity was a major achievement of 19th century physics, and electromagnetism remains a core part of every physics syllabus. It also lies at the heart of modern technology, enabling the generation, control and transmission of electricity, along with countless other applications.

In contrast, superconductivity was only discovered a little over a century ago, and it can only be observed at cryogenic temperatures. A full theoretical understanding relies on quantum mechanics, one of the key achievements of 20th century physics. Superconductivity has enabled both the sensitive measurement of very small magnetic fields and the generation of very high fields, with applications from medical diagnostics to high energy physics. In its second century, superconductivity has a large role to play in meeting energy needs, increasing energy efficiency, and supporting renewable generation and distribution of electricity.

The focus of this course is on the materials science of magnetic and superconducting materials, taking magnetism and superconductivity in turn. After briefly covering the nature and origins of magnetic and superconducting behaviour, this course will investigate how these properties can be controlled through material design and processing to meet the requirements of applications.

Lecture Resources (2014-15)



Links to further resources: magnetic materials

Links to further resources: superconducting materials