Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Gutterballs' Put New Spin On Superconductivity

Date:
May 20, 1998
Source:
Weizmann Institute Of Science
Summary:
Weizmann Institute scientists have made a surprising new discovery related to the behavior of electric currents in materials known as superconductors, whose resistance to the flow of electricity is exceedingly low.

With electricity such a familiar part of our lives, measuring the electric current that flows through a material sounds fairly old hat. Yet Weizmann Institute scientists have made a surprising new discovery related to the behavior of electric currents in materials known as superconductors, whose resistance to the flow of electricity is exceedingly low.

Dan Fuchs and Prof. Eli Zeldov of Weizmann's Condensed Matter Physics Department, along with their colleagues, revealed that electric current doesn't always flow across a superconductor uniformly, as was previously believed. Rather, when the temperature is relatively high, the current flows almost exclusively at both edges of the superconductor sample. In a way, the current behaves much like bowling balls that veer from center and slip into the gutter, a trough that channels them quickly to the end of the lane. This is in contrast to the behavior of electric current in normal metals, through which the flow of electricity is evenly dispersed. This study was recently reported in Nature (Jan. 22, 1998) and will be further described in June in Physical Review Letters.

Superconductors fascinate scientists both because of the basic research questions and because these materials may one day be used in many areas, from building levitating trains to manufacturing superfast computers.

In superconductors, resistance to electric current is created by a dynamic magnetic field within the material. The field, which takes the form of numerous long spaghetti-like tubes or columns, is in constant motion and interferes with the flow of the current, causing it to dissipate. Weizmann Institute scientists used unique microscopic sensors that make it possible to map the distribution and movement of these columns with unprecedented precision. They found that at relatively high temperatures -- ranging from 35 to 70 K -- a phenomenon known as the "surface barrier" causes the columns at the edges of the superconductor to slow down. It is this slowing-down that creates a path of low resistance, "inviting" the electric current to flow along the edge rather than through the bulk of the material.

The Institute discovery throws a radically new light on the properties of superconductors and may help scientists produce superconductor materials with advanced properties.

The team led by Prof. Zeldov included Dr. Michael Rappaport and Dr. Hadas Shtrikman of the Weizmann Institute and Prof. Tsuyoshi Tamegai and Shuuichi Ooi of the University of Tokyo. This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation, the German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (GIF), the Minerva Foundation, the Alhadeff Research Award and Japan's Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture.

The Weizmann Institute of Science, in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world's foremost centers of scientific research and graduate study. Its 2,500 scientists, students, technicians, and engineers pursue basic research in the quest for knowledge and the enhancement of the human condition. New ways of fighting disease and hunger, protecting the environment, and harnessing alternative sources of energy are high priorities.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Weizmann Institute Of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Weizmann Institute Of Science. "'Gutterballs' Put New Spin On Superconductivity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 May 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/05/980520083248.htm>.
Weizmann Institute Of Science. (1998, May 20). 'Gutterballs' Put New Spin On Superconductivity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/05/980520083248.htm
Weizmann Institute Of Science. "'Gutterballs' Put New Spin On Superconductivity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/05/980520083248.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) Japan's bullet train turns 50 Wednesday. Here's a look at how it's changed over half a century — and the changes it's inspired globally. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) A ceremony marking 50 years since Japan launched its Shinkansen bullet train was held on Wednesday in Tokyo. The latest model can travel from Tokyo to Osaka, a distance of 319 miles, in two hours and 25 minutes. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins