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IEEE Iowa-Illinois Section Tech Talk: Superconductor Technology for Science, Energy, and Medical Applications

September 14, 2022 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Superconductivity was discovered in 1911 by Heike Kamerlingh Onnes at the University of Leiden. It took several decades to develop practical superconductors that could be applied effectively to scientific, energy, and medical devices. This long gestation period was due to the need to operate low-temperature superconductors (LTSs) under cryogenic conditions in liquid helium at temperatures near absolute zero. The field of high-energy physics led the way through development of NbTi superconductors for high-field particle accelerator applications. This development allowed a new field of medical diagnostics to evolve: nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging. Higher field magnets for scientific and materials research followed with the development of Nb3Sn for NMR systems. This development was further enhanced by application to large-scale fusion magnets. Early attempts at applying LTSs to electric power applications had technical success but were not accepted in power grid use, primarily because of the need to operate in a liquid helium environment. Now the new high-temperature superconductors (HTSs) are proving technically attractive for power industry applications as well as offering significant advantages for many large-scale applications. In this talk, I will give an overview of these applications and provide examples of both LTS and HTS systems that are in use or under development. Speaker(s): Dr. Joseph V. Minervini, Virtual: https://events.vtools.ieee.org/m/322394