World record current in a superconductor

CERN does it again! I just don’t know what, but it sounds impressive to a non-tech net-wanderer:…

In the framework of the High-Luminosity LHC project, experts from the CERN Superconductors team recently obtained a world-record current of 20 kA
at 24 K in an electrical transmission line consisting of two 20-metre long cables made of magnesium diboride (MgB2) superconductor. This result makes
the technology a viable solution for long-distance power transportation.

“The test is an important step in the development of cold electrical power transmission systems based on the use of MgB2,” says Amalia Ballarino, head
of the Superconductors and Superconducting Devices section at CERN. “The cables and associated technologies were designed, developed and tested at
CERN. The superconducting wire is the result of a long RD effort that started in 2008 between CERN and the manufacturer, Columbus Superconductors in
Genova, Italy.

MgB2 is something called Magnesium diboride. I still don’t know what this story means but I know how to link /snoops and links from wikipedia/:…

Its superconductivity was discovered by the group of Akimitsu in 2001. Its critical temperature (Tc) of 39 K (−234 °C; −389 °F) is the
highest amongst conventional superconductors. This material was first synthesized and its structure confirmed in 1953, but its superconducting
properties were not discovered until 2001.

Though generally believed to be a conventional (phonon-mediated) superconductor, it is a rather unusual one. Its electronic structure is such that
there exist two types of electrons at the Fermi level with widely differing behaviours, one of them (sigma-bonding) being much more strongly
superconducting than the other (pi-bonding). This is at odds with usual theories of phonon-mediated superconductivity which assume that all electrons
behave in the same manner. Theoretical understanding of the properties of MgB2 has almost been achieved with two energy gaps. In 2001 it was regarded
as behaving more like a metallic than a cuprate superconductor.

Apparently Columbus Superconductors isn’t following on the publicity right now, as it’s not on their main page yet. But here’s who they are:…

Columbus Superconductors SpA is a world leader in cutting-edge magnesium diboride (MgB2) technology and the transformation of this superconducting
material into long, versatile and highly reliable superconducting wires. The company is vertically integrated, from RD to applications and from
production to sales.

Columbus Superconductors was established in Genoa in 2003 following successful cooperation involving ASG Superconductors, CNR-INFM (the Italian
National Research Council) and a group of researchers. The company’s staff were some of the first to develop long wire prototypes and in 2005 set
the world record with the first 1.6 km MgB2 tape. This milestone event paved the way to industrial applications for MgB2-based wires and their large
scale production.

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