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5.0 out of 5 stars Think very low temperature coolant to avoid quench, 19 Mar. 2010
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B. J. A. Quinn (Stroud, Glos United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Microstructures and Structural Defects in High-temperature Superconductors (Hardcover)
The book is exceptionally well detailed, with many photographs of microstructural defects (slip planes etc) which you observe by looking along the book page, not at it (the book so instructs). A quench is the result of allowing the superconductor to become too warm, resulting in some electrical resistance and thence onto even higher operating temperatures - quench means loss of superconductivity. There is a chart of limiting superconductivity temperature for different materials that implies using higher coolant temperatures as if that were ideal - it is not.

It is cetainly possible to use liquid nitrogen to cool the higher temperature superconductors, but do not accept anything which says 77K (the boiling point of liquid nitrogen)is the obvious operating temperature - designing by cooling the superconductor further is far more satisfactory, and of lower financial cost in the end. There is no reason at all why helium should not be used at say 10K or 20K to cool a 90K (say) superconductor - helium is a gas at 10K, and is not the slush that exists at 1K or 2K or the marginal liquid at 3.5K to 4K. Designing for gas cooling is much easier than for slush cooling, and to maintain helium as a liquid requires very tight control of temperature and high liquid flow rates throughout the cycle. And remember that higher magnetic fields mean a lower superconductity limiting temperature, just as the book introduces. But microstructure is what the book is all about, relating natural defects in the single crystal ideal to the upper limit of temperature that observes superconductivity.

I read every page, and thoroughly enjoyed it - I recommend it to you.
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