Wired for superiority

Published: Thursday 31 October 1996

The initial promise of commercial applications of high temperature superconductivity (HTS) has not really materialised. However, scientists at Argonne National Labs and University of Pittsburgh, US, have found that adding a small amount of silver to the interior of a HTS wire increases the current-carrying capacity almost three-fold. Though ordinary HTS wires have a current capacity of about 30,000 amperes per sq cm (this being more than about 150 times that of a conventional copper conductor), silver-added HTS has a capacity of about 100,000 amperes per sq cm ( Science , Vol 273, No 5272).

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