Civilopedia entry[edit | edit source]
Any material through which an electrical current can pass with relatively little resistance is known as a conductor. When an electric current passes through most conductors, part of that current is lost due to resistance, which varies depending on the conducting material and the ambient temperature. Some conductors, when cooled to temperatures near absolute zero, lose all resistance to current. These are known as superconductors. Because no energy is lost to resistance, superconductors can lead to a wide variety of practical uses. These include super-fast computers, powerful electromagnetic fields strong enough to contain fusion reactions, and the completely efficient generation and transmission of electrical power. Although the extremely low temperatures necessary to produce superconductivity have limited its uses thus far, recent developments hint that some unusual materials may be superconductive even at room temperatures. The isolation and large-scale production of these materials could lead to a new revolution in the field of electronics.