by Staff Writers
Lausanne, Switzerland (SPX) Sep 05, 2012
Might it one day be possible to transmit electricity from an offshore wind turbine to land-based users without any loss of current? Materials known as "high temperature" superconductors (even though they must be maintained at -140C!), which can conduct electricity without any losses, were supposed to make this dream a reality. But over the past twenty-five years, scientists have not been able to make any progress in this area.
Research being done in EPFL's Laboratory for Quantum Magnetism (LQM) could change that. Their study of magnetism at extremely small scales could give physicists a tool to use in their search for new superconducting materials.
Studying a superthin layer
They theorize that at these temperatures, the collective quantum magnetic properties of the atoms in the material might come into play. But studying the magnetic properties of these materials at this minuscule scale would require years of effort.
Mark Dean, John Hill and Ivan Bozovic from Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Thorsten Schmitt from Switzerland's Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI), and Bastien Dalla Piazza and Henrik Ronnow from EPFL have unveiled the phenomena at work at this atomic scale. Using a unique device, the Brookhaven team created a layer just a single atom thick.
Then, despite the material's extreme thinness, the PSI scientists were able to use an ultrasensitive instrument to measure the magnetic dynamics of the atoms. And then EPFL provided the final piece of the puzzle, with mathematical models to analyze the measurements.
A long-awaited research tool
By combining these results with other recent work done by LQM researcher Nikolai Tsyrulin, the EPFL team has provided a new method to help physicists in their search for new superconductors. It's a long-awaited step forward in the field; the Nobel Prize recognizing the discovery of high temperature superconductivity was awarded more than 25 years ago.
Promises for the future
"The energy challenges we face are significant; being able to use superconductivity won't solve all of them, but it would nonetheless enable huge energy savings," Ronnow adds.
Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com
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Environmental technologies used in Russia
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Sep 04, 2012
For the first time in history Russia's Pavilion won the prize of the jury at the 13th International Architecture Biennale in Venice, where Russia presented a project dedicated to science towns, including the Skolkovo Innovation Centre. This project is being implemented with the use of unique environmental technologies. "Green" or sustainable architecture appeared in Russia in the middle of ... read more
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