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Prof J L Driscoll

Superconductivity was discovered a little over a century ago and, although it can only be observed at cryogenic temperatures, it enables 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 energy generation and distribution of electricity.  

The focus of this course is on the materials science of superconducting materials. After briefly covering the nature and origins of superconductivity, the course will investigate the important materials properties relevant for electrical and magnetic applications, and how materials processing and engineering are important for enhancing or counteracting these properties. The important applications which stem from use of superconductors will also be covered.

This lecture course will cover:

  • An overview of the discovery, characteristics and theory of superconductivity
  • Critical parameters that describe superconductors
  • Superconductors with internal magnetic flux: intermediate state, mixed state, flux pinning and the critical state model
  • The range of superconducting materials, crystallography, anisotropy, and implications for processing
  • Brief introduction to superconducting devices
  • The production and processing of practical superconducting wires and tapes, from low to medium temperature to high temperature superconductors