Introduction | Task | The Process and Resources | HyperText Dictionary
IntroductionIn 1911, Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes discovered that at 40K, the electrical resistance of mercury wire became zero and so discovered superconductivity. He immediately predicted many uses for superconductors.
TaskYour task (as a group) is to investigate superconductivity, the history of its discovery and the theory used to explain the phenomenon of superconductivity.
In small groups, or individually, you will investigate one of the following applications of superconductivity: transportation; power generation, storage and distribution; medicine; computer development; and other areas of science including geoscience and space science.
You will then need to look at the issue of whether superconductivity is a new state of matter.
The Process and ResourcesIn this WebQuest you will be working together with a group of students in class. Each group will answer the Task or Quest(ion). As a member of the group you will explore Webpages from people all over the world who are involved with Superconductivity. Because these are real Webpages we're tapping into, not things made just for schools, the reading level might challenge you. Feel free to use the online Webster dictionary or one in your classroom.
You'll begin with everyone in your group getting some background before dividing into roles where people on your team become experts on one part of the topic.
Phase 1 - Background: Something for EveryoneUse the Internet information linked below to answer the basic questions of who? what? where? when? why? and how? Be creative in exploring the information so that you answer these questions as fully and insightfully as you can.
The following statements may guide your investigation.
- Define superconductivity.
- Compare Type I and Type II superconductors.
- Construct a timeline for the discovery and development of superconductors and their application.
- Explain the BCS theory of superconductivity.
- Explain the Meissner effect.
- Define a Josephson Junction.
- Define a Coopers pair and a phonon.
- Identify five element/alloy superconductors and two metal oxide ceramic conductors
- Explain Tc
- A Teacher's Guide to Superconductivity for High School Students - a good introduction to superconductivity from Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- HyperPhysics - from Georgia State University - a concept map of superconductivity linking to good overview of the topic
- Uses of Superconductors - from Superconductors.org
- Superconductor Information for the Beginner - from Superconductors.org, includes what are superconductors, types of superconductors, history of superconductors and uses of superconductors
- Understanding High Temperature Superconductivity: Progress and Prospects - background to the theory of superconductivity
- Superconductors - background information, types of superconductors and their uses from Carleton University
- Superconductivity web site - from the ChemSoc.org (Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Science Network)
- Best of Web Superconductivity - from the PhysicsWeb.org
- SQUID, Superconducting Quantum Interference Device - brief notes on various uses of SQUIDs from European Space Agency
- superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) - a concise definition including uses from WhatIs.com
- At the Frontiers of Science: Superconductivity and Its Electric Power Applications - a 20 page booklet (pdf) which covers what is conductivity, the physics behind the phenomenon, uses and a timeline
- Fundamentals of Superconductors - from Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- Superconductors on the Radar Screen - an article from PaintandCoatings.com (online journal from Coatings professionals)
- Superconductors: Wave of the Future? - a short article (pdf) from TECHNOLOGYBEAT
- About Superconductivity - from PhysicsCentral
- A Guide to Superconductivity - from University of Hamburg
- Superconductivity Fact Sheet - from Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- What is Superconductivity? - from How Stuff Works
- Superconductivity - (origin uncertain)
- Image Gallery - Applied Superconductivity Center, University of Washington Madison
Phase 2 - Looking Deeper from Different PerspectivesINSTRUCTIONS:
1. Individuals or pairs from your larger WebQuest team will explore one of the roles below.
2. Read through the files linked to your group. If you print out the files, underline the passages that you feel are the most important. If you look at the files on the computer, copy sections you feel are important by dragging the mouse across the passage and copying / pasting it into a word processor or other writing software.
3. Note: Remember to write down or copy/paste the URL of the file you take the passage from so you can quickly go back to it if you need to to prove your point and so that you can reference your sources in your bibliography.
Medical ResearcherUse the Internet information linked below to answer these questions specifically related to medical research:
- Outline the use of superconductors in the area of medicine.
- Explain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
- Explain how SQUIDs are used in medical imaging.
- Explain the benefits and limitations of using superconductors in medicine.
- How MRI Works - from HowStuffWorks
- Superconducting Magnet Applications: MRI scanners - from PhysicsCentral
- Biomedical Applications - from Superconductivity Technology Center, Los Alamos National Laboratory
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - from Materials by Design, Cornell University
- Magnetic Resonance Force Microscope - an animation from Visualisation Lab, IBM, a possible future direction of superconductors
- Magnetic Resonance Force Microscopy - from Almaden Research Center, IBM
- An Introduction to Biomagnetism - Biomagnetic Center Jena
- MAGNETOENCEPHALOGRAPHY (MEG - from New York University Medical Center
- SQUIDs Technology - from Superconductivity group, Korea
- Biomagnetism - from Superconductivity group, Korea
Transportation EngineerUse the Internet information linked below to answer these questions specifically related to transportation engineering:
- Outline the use of superconductors in the area of transportation.
- Explain Maglev trains.
- Explain the benefits and limitations of Maglev trains using superconductors.
- Outline proposed uses of superconductors in the area of transportation.
- Maglev Applications - from Maglev 2000 of Florida Corporation, looks at future uses of magnetic levitation technology
- Simple Maglev Train - instructions on how to build a model of a Maglev train
- A New Approach to Magnetically Levitated Trains - and Rockets - from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, includes some limitations of maglev trains that incorporate the use of superconductors
- A Superconducting QUantum Interference Device magnetometer system for quantitative analysis and imaging of hidden corrosion activity in aircraft aluminum structures - a technical paper reprinted from Review of Scientific Instruments and available from the Vanderbilt University web site
- Magnetic Levitation Trains - from Superconductivity Technology Center, Los Alamos National Laboratory
- How Maglev Trains Will Work - from How Stuff Works
- Yamanashi Maglev Test Line - from Aichi Prefectural Government
Computer Science EngineerUse the Internet information linked below to answer these questions specifically related to computer science engineering:
- Outline the use of superconductors in the area of computer development.
- Outline proposed uses of superconductors in the area of computer development.
Power Generation and Storage EngineerUse the Internet information linked below to answer these questions specifically related to power generation and power storage:
- Outline the use of superconductors in the area of power generation.
- Outline the use of superconductors in the area of power distribution.
- Outline the use of superconductors in the area of power storage.
- Outline proposed uses of superconductors in the area of power generation and storage.
- Power Applications of Superconductivity in Japan and Germany - a technical report but has good photos and diagrams
- About Superconductivity - from Superconductivity for Electric Systems, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network, US Department of Energy
- Superconductor discovery could lead to more efficient electricity - from Brown University News Service
- Superconductors Power Up - an article in Mechanical Engineering magazine
- Power - Superconductivity - from Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network, US Department of Energy
- Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage - from Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network, US Department of Energy
- Power Applications - from Superconductivity Technology Center, Los Alamos National Laboratory
-  HTS FOR ELECTRIC POWER SYSTEMS & DEVICES - from Superconductivity (origin uncertain)
Geoscientist and Space ScientistUse the Internet information linked below to answer these questions specifically related to geoscience, space science and related areas:
- Outline the use of superconductors in mining.
- Outline the use of superconductors in space research.
- Outline the use of superconductors in the area of communication.
- Quantum interference demonstrated for first time in liquids as physicists make superfluid analog of super- conducting SQUID, a potential ultrasensitive gyroscope - SQUIDs as a research tool for geoscientists and space scientists
- Maglev for mining - from Maglev 2000 of Florida Corporation, looks at future uses of magnetic levitation technology
- High Temperature Superconductivity and Superconducting Antennas - notes on superconductors and their uses
- HIGH TEMPERATURE SUPERCONDUCTORS IN UNDERGROUND COMMUNICATIONS - from OFFICE OF INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGIES, ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND RENEWABLE ENERGY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
Phase 3 - Debating, Discussing, and Reaching ConsensusYou have all learned about a specific application of superconductivity.
Discuss the possible applications of superconductors in areas including computers, generators and motors, transmission of electricity through power grids.
Summarise the possible applications of superconductors in areas such as medicine, mining, geoscience and space research.
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Last Update: Monday, 30-Apr-2012 14:52:53 AEST