Superconductors are such materials which are able to allow the flow of current with absolutely no resistance. A new theory proposed by two physicists may finally enable their use in mainstream electrical engineering.
Most of the electrical and electronics equipment that we use today comprises of such materials which lose current as it flows through them. This is because these materials offer a certain amount of resistance to the flow of the current. Superconductors, on the other hand, offer zero current and are perfectly ideal for electrical conduction.
But the problem with superconductors is that they are hard to understand. They exhibit different behaviors, can align themselves in unexpected directions and are overall, so whimsical that so far they haven’t been used in any mainstream equipment.
This problem may finally be resolved with the new superconductor theory by J.C. Seamus Davis and Dung-Hai Lee. Davis is a Professor in Physical Sciences department at Cornell while Lee is a physics professor at University of California-Berkeley. Davis has been studying superconductors closely for the last ten years, observing all the different and odd behaviors exhibited by them under varying environmental conditions. According to him, “[Our work] was not random; we were trying to map out all the known phenomena.”
The duo essentially aimed to identify all behavioral oddities in superconductors and then, use this data to understand superconductors better. In a research paper published by the two professors, they explain that the key to superconductivity is the ‘antiferromagnetic‘ interaction between two electrons. In such an interactions, two electrons are conjoined like a magnet. Such formation, the paper explains, allows them to flow without resistance.
This fresh explanation of superconductivity is critical because it not only improves our understanding of the phenomenon, it also offers a good insight into why the superconductors behave oddly. This information, Davis and Lee are positive, can be used to remove the incidence of odd behaviors from superconductors. Once that happens, they can be used in the creation of motors and other machines, allowing us to create highly power-efficient systems.