February 12, 2007

Material suitable for 30 tesla magnet found

Bismuth compound has been identified as material for the new wires needed to one day build the most powerful superconducting magnet in the world, a 30 Tesla magnet.

Using MR techniques at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Fla., Halperin and his team studied Bi-2212, one of the "darlings" of superconductivity. To measure its properties, they put the rare isotope oxygen-17 into a crystal of Bi-2212, with the isotope acting as a probe, much like a fluorescent dye. They then determined the phase diagram of the material where superconductivity is stable, which showed high temperature and high magnetic field could not be achieved together.

How to make the bismuth compound into the appropriate wires and configure them into a magnet still has to be determined

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