11 Mar 2010

High Temperature Superconductors

From Our Changing World, 9:06 pm on 11 March 2010

Jeff Tallon and Bob Buckley

(image: Clive Ralph)

On Tuesday 9 March, Bob Buckley (right) and Jeff Tallon (left) from Industrial Research Limited were awarded the Prime Minister's Science Prize for their work on high temperature superconductors. The prize is worth $500,000, with $400,000 of it going to IRL for continued development of the technology.

Unlike conventional copper wires, superconductors allow electricity to flow without resistance or loss of energy. They are used in MRI machines, for power transmission and even to levitate trains. Superconductivity brings quantum mechanics to the everyday scale, but exactly how high temperature superconductors work at the quantum level is poorly understood.

Ruth Beran caught up with one half of the winning team, Jeff Tallon, to find out more. Listen to a previous interview with Bob Buckley here.

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