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What is Superconductivity?

by Team Goseeko


The Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes was the one who discovered Superconductivity for the very first time in 1911. At that time he was studying the resistance of metals at low temperatures.


Some of the metals, their compounds and alloys have the ability to  conduct electricity with zero resistance at very low temperatures. This phenomenon known as Superconductivity. The materials which show this property of superconductivity known as  Superconductors.

Transition Temperature or Critical Temperature Tc

Superconductivity occurs at a particular temperature where electrical resistivity of the material suddenly drops to zero as a result the material changes its state from normal conductor to a superconductor. In conclusion the transition of states occurs at a particular temperature knows as transition temperature or critical temperature Tc.

The phenomenon of superconductivity is shown by many other elemental metals. These metals were showing zero resistance when their temperatures were lowered below a certain characteristic temperature  (transition temperature) of the material.

Properties of Superconductors

Superconductors show the following properties

  • It is a low-temperature phenomenon.
  • The electrical resistivity drops to zero.
  • The conductivity becomes infinite.
  • The transition temperature is not same for all materials but has different values for different substances.
  • Materials having high normal resistivity also show superconductivity.
  • Materials for which ρZ= 106 (where Z is an atomic number and ρ is resistivity) show superconductivity.
  • Superconductivity is very sharp for the chemically pure and specimen with perfect structure.
  • Ferromagnetic and Antiferromagnetic materials are not superconductors.
  • The magnetic flux lines are rejected out of the superconductors below the transition temperature.
  • Mostly Superconducting elements lie in the inner columns of the periodic table.
  • Those metallic elements which have valence electrons between 2 to 8 shows the phenomenon of superconductivity.
  • The specific heat curve is discontinuous below the transition temperature also there is a discontinuous change in specific heat.
  • There are small changes in the volume as well as in thermal conductivity of the material.

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