DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Close-up of superconducting niobium wire emerging from an apparatus for winding strands of the material to make superconducting magnets. A superconductor is a material that allows an electric current to flow with almost no resistance, providing it is used at an extremely low temperature - typically a few degrees above absolute zero, -273 degrees Celsius. Advantages of superconducting magnets over conventional types include higher achievable magnetic fields through lower power consumption. The photo was taken at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, Long Island, New York, in 1984.
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