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Reuters / Michael Caronna
July 27, 2014

Japanese scientists have managed to achieve an electrical current of 100,000 amperes – by far the highest to be generated in the world – with cutting edge technology of stacking special tapes.

The National Institute for Fusion Science (NIFS), of the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS), in Japan created an avant-garde conductor containing yttrium-based high-temperature superconducting tapes. Designed in collaboration with Tohoku University, the low-resistance joint technology involved in the conductor joints development only added to its mechanical strength.

The results obtained are overwhelming: the electrical current exceeds 100,000 amperes at the absolute temperature of minus 253 degrees Celsius (487 degrees Fahrenheit). Just to compare, the electric current intensity of a domestic power receptacle reaches only up to 25 amperes.

“The overall current density exceeds 40 A/mm2 including the jackets, and this value is of practical use for manufacturing large-scale fusion reactor magnets. This result is of global importance,” the researchers said.

What makes superconductors so special is that they conduct electricity with no resistance. Unlike more usual and cheaper copper/silver, near absolute zero superconductors don't lose any energy and the current they carry starts generating a magnetic field. This feature, called the Meissner effect, gives magnets placed above them a startling capacity to levitate.


 


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