MANFRED KAGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MANFRED KAGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
False-colour scanning electron micrograph of a section through a superconducting cable. The six triangular areas seen here contain bundles of fine superconducting wire (in this case a niobium/titanium alloy). The bundles are surrounded by an electrically-insulating layer, the whole being held within a spoke-like pattern of copper. Cables such as this are used to make extremely powerful electromagnets. Superconductors offer no electrical resistance, so adding power to the magnet simply magnifies its strength. The drawback of this is that the cable must be kept at about 10 Kelvin (-263 Celsius) for this to occur. Magnification x33 at 6x7cm size.
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