The Physics of High-Field Superconductors

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Science  05 Apr 1963:
Vol. 140, Issue 3562, pp. 26-35
DOI: 10.1126/science.140.3562.26


The recent burst of effort in the area of high-field superconductors has led to the construction of 70,000-oersted coils and the expectation that 100,000-oersted fields will be attained in the near future. The general theory suggests that fields above 300,000 oersteds are conceivable and that current densities of millions of amperes per square centimeter may be attained. Theory and experiment suggest that the upper critical field of materials such as Nb3Sn and Nb.75Zr.25 is determined by their tendency to form a mixed state, and that a crucial question concerning their other properties is that of the interaction of this mixed state with imperfections. Lastly, it is possible to make a synthetic high-field superconductor by mechanically subdividing an ideal superconductor.