Linking Magnetism and SuperconductivityCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: June 26, 2012 02:59PM
When studying something to learn what causes it, a good place to start is to look at how it relates to other things. This is why researchers closely examine magnetism when studying superconductivity, and according to some new research magnetism may actually lead to superconductivity. This was discovered by researchers at Ames Laboratory, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Kyoto University, and University of Bristol as they closely examined iron-based high-temperature superconductors.
Both magnetism and superconductivity are electronic phenomena that occur because of quantum mechanics. Traditionally though, magnetism has been believed to impair superconductivity, but new research is showing this may not always be true. By measuring London penetration depth, the depth a magnetic field reaches within a superconductor, the researchers found that as magnetism weakens in an iron-based superconductor it may help produce superconductivity.
This research may only apply to iron-based high-temperature superconductors, but it is still very promising for the development of future superconductors. Magnetism is fairly well understood, especially when compared to high-temperature superconductivity, so if there is a way to use magnetism to create superconductivity, then a way may be found to create a room-temperature superconductor.