Science: Dreams Into Reality

Superconductivity may be turning scientists into visionaries, but their dreams of flying trains and of cheap power are hobbled by a problem. The new ceramic superconductors carry electricity with perfect efficiency at far higher temperatures than conventional superconductors (above -320 degrees F, vs. -418 degrees F or below), making them easier to refrigerate and cheaper to use. But to be useful, they must carry at least 100,000 amps of current per square cm of cross section and 1 million amps or more in some applications. So far, the new superconductors have carried only about 1,000 amps.

No more. IBM scientists announced...

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