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Cambridge Engineers Break Superconductor World Record

last modified Sep 21, 2015 11:51 AM

A world record that has stood for more than a decade has been broken by a team of engineers led by Professor David Cardwell, harnessing the equivalent of three tonnes of force inside a golf ball-sized sample of material that is normally as brittle as fine china.

Professor Cardwell’s team managed to ‘trap’ a magnetic field with a strength of 17.6 Tesla - roughly 100 times stronger than the field generated by a typical fridge magnet - in a high temperature gadolinium barium copper oxide (GdBCO) superconductor, beating the previous record by 0.4 Tesla. The results are published in the journal Superconductor Science and Technology.

The research demonstrates the potential of high-temperature superconductors for applications in a range of fields, including flywheels for energy storage, ‘magnetic separators’, which can be used in mineral refinement and pollution control, and in high-speed levitating monorail trains.

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