The ability of a superconductor to store circulating indefinitely can be used as the base of a computer memory unit. Circulating currents can be stored in a porous evaporated film of tin or indium in a particular spatial array symbolizing the binary digits 1 or 0. This device is called the continuous film memory and it is being developed for possible superconducting computers.



    In the transportations industry, a superconductor can be used, as mentioned earlier, to create strong magnetic fields than can produce the effect of levitation. Maglev trains, using superconductors that generate magnetic fields, hover above the track during operation. This results in the obtainment of very high speeds (500mph) with the consumption of very little energy. The material made for making the tracks must be kept at 4K so liquid helium is usually used to keep the material at the necessary low temperatures.

Medical Industry


    Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) equipment, used for diagnostic scanning procedures, utilizes strong magnetic coils. Electromagnets made with superconductors surround the chamber to produce a large magnetic field in order to cause hydrogen nuclei in the patient's body tissue to line up in the direction of the magnetic field. The electromagnets, which consist of wire coils, must carry very large electrical currents without melting in order to produce very large induced magnetic fields. Superconductors are used because they can carry large currents without generating heat that would melt other materials. Superconductive magnetic coils are an important portion of this whole-body scanner. Since these coils are capable of producing very stable, large magnetic field strengths, they generate high quality images. Currently, low temperature superconductors are employed in these coils, but the eventual use of HTS materials will greatly enhance the cost-benefit aspect of the application.


Title Page
Introduction to Superconductors
Basic Conditions
The Resistance in a Superconductor
The Two Types of Superconductors
Applications of Superconductors