Fermi National Laboratory

Operation Terminology

Superconductivity

This is a state of matter that many metals and alloys reach at sufficiently low temperatures (i.e. a few K). This state is characterized by the total absence of electrical resistance thus making possible the conduction of electrical currents without any measurable loss. Kammerlingh Onnes in the Netherlands discovered superconductivity in 1911. He was the first person to liquefy helium and was thus able to reach the extreme cold necessary to observe superconducting effects in mercury.

last modified 11/18/2004   email Fermilab
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