The Path to Room Temperature Superconductivity
Hotel Alexandra
Loen, Norway
17 - 23 June 2007

Dr. Harold Weinstock, European Office of Aerospace R&D (AFOSR)
Prof. Paul C. W. Chu, Houston International Materials Forum. U. Houston
Prof. Horst Rogallo, U. Twente

All Presentations  (link added 23 April 2010)

Superconductivity: Past, Present & Future
An Anthology

Paul M. Grant
Visiting Scholar in Applied Physics, Stanford University
EPRI Science Fellow (Retired)
IBM Research Staff Member Emeritus
Principal, W2AGZ Technologies

Invocation - Prediction - Benediction

"Whither Superconductivity?," P. M. Grant. [Introductory talk focused on what's past, what's going on right now, and what the future may hold.]

"The Da Vinci Code," P. M. Grant. [Catchy, eh?  Before looking at the video, Google "Niels Bohr's kid brother.]; "Researchers Find Extraordinarily High Temperature Superconductivity in Bio-Inspired Nanopolymer," P. M. Grant, Physics Today, May 1998. [My whimsical SciFi essay covering the great discovery in 2028 of an embodiment of Bill Little's model of exciton mediated superconductivity. You eventually "get what you need." (see SuperTunes)]
"So What?," P. M. Grant [OK, we have an RTSC...then what do we do with it?  Not so obvious.]

        *PDF files do not contain animation...for PPT originals, contact me.

The Day Before Yesterday -
Yesterday - Today - Tomorrow

Vitaly L. Ginzburg

The Discovery of High-Tc
Mueller-Bednorz Science Magazine Story
Bednorz-Mueller Nobel Lecture

High Temperature Superconductivity - Tanaka

Video Memories from 1987
(Files are in windows media (.wmv) format)

APS New York MRS - Anaheim May in Berkeley
K. Alex Mueller    
Shouji Tanaka Bob Hammond Marvin Cohen
Paul C. W. Chu Paul M. Grant Ted Geballe
Z. X. Zhao   Paul C. W. Chu
Bertram Battlog   Rick Greene
Marvin Cohen   Paul M. Grant
Phil Anderson   Vladimir Kresin
Vladimir Kresin    
Doug Finnemore    
Laura Greene    
Aharon Kapitulnik    
Paul M. Grant    
John Cooper    
Dave Christen    


Yesterday - Today - Tomorrow



Be sure to read the fine print colored maroon
Many of the files are huge (~40 MB)...play some SuperTunes while downloading

Superconductivity Yesterday

"Superconductivity: The Day Before Yesterday - Yesterday - Today - Tomorrow," V. L. Ginzburg, Physics - Uspekhi 43, 573 (2000). [A marvelous review of the ghosts of superconductivity, past, present and future, written in the style only Vitaly Ginzburg can create.  The bibliography spans the entire scientific history of superconductivity.]
H. Kamerlingh Onnes, Commun. Leiden 120b (1911).
"Ein neuer Effekt bei Eintritt der Supraleitfaehigkeit (A New Effect Concerning the Ability to Penetrate a Superconductor)",  W. Meissner and R. Ochsenfeld, Die Naturwissenshaften 44, 787 (1933).  [(In German) Discovery that when a superconductor is cooled in an external magnetic field, that field is expelled from within the superconductor.  It is this effect that differentiates a superconductor from a "perfect conductor."]
"Measurements of the Specific Heat of Thallium at Liquid Helium Temperatures," W. H. Keesom and J. A. Kok, Physica 1, 175 (1934). [The first widely circulated report of a first-order jump in specific heat in a "Type I" superconductor, a major clue to what would become GL theory.]
"On Supraconductivity I," C. J. Gorter and H. Casimir, Physica 1, 306 (1934). [A thermodynamic and phenomenological treatment of the Meissner-Ochsenfeld field expulsion effect, showing that such expulsion lowers the overall free energy and explains the specific heat jump observed by Keesom and collaborators at Leiden.  This paper is an anticipation of the Ginzburg-Landau theory.]
"The Electromagnetic Equations of the Supraconductor," F. London and H. London, Proc Roy. Soc London A149, 71 (1935). [An empirical reformulation of Maxwell's equations to accommodate the Meissner-Ochsenfeld field expulsion effect.  Introduces the key concept of a magnetic field penetration depth.]
"Ginzburg-Landau Theory (Wikipedia)," Zh. Eksp. Teor. Fiz. 20, 1064 (1950). [Can't find the original Russian or a translation...only Wikipedia...sorry]
"Isotope Effect in the Superconductivity of Mercury," E. Maxwell, Phys. Rev. 78, 477 (1950); "Superconductivity of Isotopes of Mercury," C. A. Reynolds, B. Serin, W. H. Wright, and L. B. Nesbitt, Phys. Rev. 78, 487 (1950). [Both these papers were submitted simultaneously on 24 March 1950, each becoming aware of the other's work only a few weeks before at an ONR conference.  Interestingly, earlier attempts at Leiden in 1922 to observe an isotope effect in Pb, and in 1941 in Germany, failed to give any observable effects.  These present experiments suggested the atomic mass, and perhaps lattice vibrations, were a fundamental ingredient in superconductivity.]
"Theory of the Superconducting State. I. The Ground State at the Absolute Zero of Temperature," H. Froehlich, Phys. Rev. 79, 845 (1950). [This paper is the first speculation that lattice vibrations might be involved in superconductivity. However, it deals with the scattering of only one electron, and not pairs. It explains the earlier discovery of the isotope effect, although Froehlich was not aware of its existence when he first submitted this paper.]
"An Experimental and Theoretical Study of the Relation between Magnetic Field and Current in a Superconductor," A. B. Pippard, Proc. Roy. Soc. London A216, 547 (1953). [In this paper, Brian Pippard elucidates a fundamental key concept underlying all BCS-like theories of superconductivity, whether strong or weak coupling.]
"Bound Electron Pairs in a Degenerate Fermi Gas," L. N. Cooper, Phys. Rev. 104, 1189 (1956). [Cooper's seminal demonstration that an arbitrarily weak attractive interaction between electrons degenerate at the Fermi surface would lead to their pairing. He speculated that such an attraction could arise from lattice vibrations.]
A. A. Abrikosov, Sov. Phys. JETP 5, 1174 (1957). [xxx]
"Theory of Superconductivity," J. Bardeen, L. N. Cooper and J. R. Schrieffer, Phys. Rev. 108, 1175 (1957). [The BCS Nobel Prize paper.  Finally, an explanation of superconductivity some 46 years after its discovery.  The BCS theory is the crowning theoretical achievement of condensed matter physics in the 20th Century. This paper is also an outstanding review of the past theoretical attempts to explain superconductivity and why they failed.]
A. B. Migdal, Sov. Phys. JETP 7, 996 (1958). [xxx]
L. P. Gorkov, Sov. Phys. JETP 9, 1364 (1959). [xxx]
G. M. Eliashberg, Sov. Phys. JETP 11, 1364 (1959). [xxx]
"Transition Temperature of Strong-Coupled Superconductors," W. L. McMillan, Phys. Rev. 167, 331 (1968). [The "practical theory" of superconductivity which allowed relating the electron-phonon coupling to tunneling spectroscopy, the so-called alpha-2 F(omega).]
"A Research Investigation of the Factors That Affect the Superconducting Properties of Materials," GE Report AD480235, 15 November 1965. [The classic GE study done under Air Force sponsorship which contains the first detailed study of hysteretic losses in Type II superconductors, otherwise known at the Bean Model.]
"Structure and Properties of High-Field Superconductors,"  J. D. Livingston, GE R&D Center Report (ca. 1969-70). [Jim Livingston's great little review of critical currents and pinning in Type II superconductors, probably still the clearest exposition of these issues and eerily relevant to anisotropic superconductors yet to be discovered.]
"Transition Temperature of Strong-Coupled Superconductors Reanalyzed," P. B. Allen and R. C. Dynes, Phys. Rev. B 12, 905 (1975). [This paper applies an important correction to the McMillan BCS Debye temperature prefactor, involving a logarithmic average over the total e-p coupling as measured by tunneling spectroscopy.]
"Critical Fields, Pauli Paramagnetic Limiting, and Material Parameters of Nb3Sn and V3Si," T. P. Orlando, E. J. McNiff, Jr., S. Foner and M. R. Beasley, Phys. Rev. B 19, 4545 (1978).  [The appendices of this paper contain a tremendously useful compilation of GLAG equations in various clean and dirty limits.]
"Type II Superconductivity: Quest for Understanding," T. G. Berlincourt, IEEE Trans. Mag. MAG-23, 403 (1987).  [Probably the definitive history of Type II (hard) superconductors.  Especially fascinating are the tribulations of Shubnikov and the complete ignorance in the US of the achievements of Abrikosov due to the curtain of the Cold War.]
"The Critical Current of a Superconductor: An Historical Review," D. Dew-Hughes,Low Temperature Physics 27, 713 (2001). [Probably the most up-to-date summary of the most important parameter for applications, next to Tc.]

Back to Yesterday

Superconductivity Today

"Possibility of Insulator to Superconductor Phase Transition," B. K. Chakraverty, J. Physique-Lettres 40,L-99 (1978). [Alex Mueller cites this paper, and the following two, as his principal inspiration to pursue mixed valent charge transition metal complexes as possible hosts for high temperature superconductivity.]
"Bipolarons and Superconductivity," B. K. Chakraverty, J. Physique 42, 1351 (1981). [A elaboration of the above paper.]
"Jahn-Teller Effect in Itinerant Electron Systems: The Jahn-Teller Polaron," K.-H. Hoeck, H. Nickish and H. Thomas, Helvetica Physica Acta 56, 237 (1983). [Mueller attributes great importance to this paper as pointing to tetragonal symmetry as hosting strong coupling of itinerant electrons to a Jahn-Teller distortion such as found in mixed valent compounds.  Quite curiously, several years after the publication of this paper, Hoeck seems to have "disappeared" from the scientific scene.]
C. Michel and B. Raveau, Rev. Chim. Min. 21, 407 (1984). [This is a very old journal and has a number of continuations.  I have not been able to obtain a copy yet.  It contains the first Caen paper on LA-4-1-5-13 that Bednorz found.]
"The Oxygen Defect Perovskite BaLa4Cu5O13.4, a Metallic Conductor," C. Michel, L. Er-Rakho and B. Raveau, Mat. Res. Bull. 20, 667 (1985). [An elaboration of measurements reported in the Revue de Chimie Mineral paper.  Shown are the thermopower and resistivity data from 200 - 550 K.  Had measurements been made down to liquid helium temperatures, it is likely the Caen Group would have found some traces of superconductivity, especially in the thermopower.  Apparently, the main interest of these workers in this material was for catalysis applications and high temperature oxygen sensors for use in, for example, cement kilns.]
"Possible High TC Superconductivity in the Ba-La-Cu-O System," J. G. Bednorz and K. A. Mueller, Z. Phys B - Condensed Matter 64, 189 (1986) [The discovery publication.  Ironically, Bednorz chose initially the only copper oxide perovskite that's metallic at all temperatures and superconducting at none, but which is extremely difficult to make single phase.  It was soon recognized that it was a minor secondary phase responsible for the appearance of superconductivity and they were on their way.  There is quite a story behind this paper.]
"Susceptibility Measurements Support High TC Superconductivity in the Ba-La-Cu-O System," J. G. Bednorz, M. Takashige and K. A. Mueller, IBM Report RZ 1537, 19 November 1986. [This link is actually to a preprint received on 15 October 1986 by Rick Greene from Alex Mueller (with autograph!).  The Zuerich workers, contrary to popular belief, in reality were the first to confirm their own discovery.]
"Susceptibility Measurements Support High TC Superconductivity in the Ba-La-Cu-O System," J. G. Bednorz, M. Takashige and K. A. Mueller, Europhys. Lett. 3, 379 (1987). [The paper resulting from the above preprint. Read the note added prior to publication.]
"Flux Trapping and Superconductive Glass State in La2CuO4-y:Ba," K. A. Mueller, M. Takashige and J. G. Bednorz, Phys. Rev. Letters 58, 1143 (1987). [This is the third remarkable paper out of IBM Zuerich which started the whole subsequent study of flux dynamics in these anisotropic superconductors.]
"Superconductivity at 93 K in a New Mixed-Phase Y-Ba-Cu-O Compound at Ambient Pressure," W. K. Wu, et al., Phys. Rev. Letters 58, 908 (1987). [The Wu-Chu discovery of YBCO...but not 1-2-3.]
"Superconductivity Above 90 K in the Compound YBa2Cu3Ox: Structural, Transport, and Magnetic Properties," P. M. Grant, R. B. Beyers, E. M. Engler, G. Lim, S. S. P. Parkin, M. L. Ramirez, V. Y. Lee, A. Nazzal, J. E. Vazquez and R. J. Savoy, Phys. Rev. B35, 7242 (1987).  [First Report of the "1-2-3" Crystal Structure and Material Processing Conditions.  More story to follow. Until then, go here.]

"Superconductivity Above Liquid Nitrogen Temperature: Preparation and Properties of a Family of Perovskite-Based Superconductors," E. M. Engler, V. Y. Lee, A. I. Nazzal, R. B. Beyers, G. Lim, P. M. Grant, S. S. P. Parkin, M. L. Ramirez, J. E. Vazquez and R. J. Savoy, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 109, 2848 (1987).  [The best paper hands down, written by Ed Engler, that came out of the 1987 APS Meeting of March, 1987, the "Woodstock of Physics."  This is the first report, which I was honored to give at "Woodstock," on the structure, processing and properties, of the rare earth substitutions for yttrium.  There are two retrospective "blunders" in this paper.  One was the attribution for the lack of superconductivity in Pr-1-2-3 to the absence of the orthorhombic phase, which was due to low oxygen concentration, later the subject of a more comprehensive paper.  The other was reporting superconductivity in the Ba-Ca-Sr fractional substitution which turned out to be a blown labeling of samples!  What the hell...we were in battle!]

"Evidence for Superconductivity in La2CuO4," P. M. Grant, S. S. P. Parkin, V. Y. Lee, E. M. Engler, M. L. Ramirez, J. E. Vazquez, G. Lim, R. D. Jacowitz and R. L. Greene, Phys. Rev. Letters 58, 2482 (1987).  [This was a remarkable discovery.  In January, 1987, Rick Greene and I observed zero thermopower at 41 K, a clear signature of superconductivity, in an "undoped" sample of La2CuO4 given us by Georg Bednorz, one which was completely insulating!  Read the paper to find out what happened.  High-Temperature superconductivity could have been discovered in 1954!]
"The Discovery of a Class of High Temperature Superconductors," K. A. Mueller and J. G. Bednorz, Science 237, 1133 (1987). [Story of the discovery by the discoverers.]
"Critical-Current Measurements in Epitaxial Films of YBa2Cu3O7-x Compound," P. Chaudhari, et al., Phys. Rev. Letters 58, 2684 (1987). [The first epitaxial films of Y-123 were made the evening of Monday,10 March 1987, the week before Woodstock, by Bob Laibowitz, using structural and processing data supplied by IBM Almaden.]
"Orientation Dependence of Grain-Boundary Critical Currents in YBa2Cu3O7-δ Bicrystals," Dimos, et. al, Phys. Rev. Letters 61, 219 (1987). [This is the famous "Dimos" paper that provided the science to jump start the worldwide developmen of coated conductor, or Gen 2 tape.]
"Resistive Transition of High Temperature Superconductors," M. Tinkham, Phys. Rev. Letters 61, 1658 (1988).  [This paper scared the hell out of us when it appeared, because it implied the newly discovered HTSC compounds may not be practical because of thermal depinning of the Abrikosov vortex lattice. Its appearance engendered a column in Science by Robert Poole, "Superconductivity: Is the Party Over?" Tinkham concludes that a future room temperature superconductor may indeed be in the superconducting state, but not have zero resistance!  This is a great problem for future research.]
"Superconductivity: Is the Party Over?," R. Poole, Science 244, 914 (1988). [Column inspired by Tinkham's article supported by some of David Bishop's flux lattice melting work at Bell Labs.  The piece quotes a number of industrial leaders to the effect that "we're not going to quit."  No major corporation has a superconductivity program today, and one of them now belongs to a French company.]
"The Development of Superconductivity Research in Oxides," K. Alex Mueller (Monograph, date uncertain, ca. 1998-99). [The description of the science background and Mueller's thinking that led to the eventual discovery of high temperature superconductivity in the copper oxide perovskites.]
"High-Temperature Superconductivity (History and General Review)," V. L. Ginzburg, Sov. Phys. Usp. 34,283 (1991)]. [Written in Ginzburg's delightful wry English style, his reflection on the recent discoveries of superconductivity in the cuprates and implications for the future.]
"Ich war wie in Trance," NZZ am Sonntag, 21 Januar 2006, p. 67.  [An interview (in German) of George Bednorz in the Swiss National Sunday newspaper on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of his observation of zero resistance.  The "trance" refers not to the moment of discovery, but when he received the Nobel Prize and probably had to dance with the Queen of Sweden.]

Back to Today

Superconductivity Tomorrow

F. London, Superfluids, 1950
"Possibility of Synthesizing an Organic Superconductor," W. A. Little, Phys. Rev. 134, A1416 (1964). [In this paper, Little examines and elaborates a speculation by F. London that macromolecules might exhibit superfluid-like properties in the context of the BSC model formulated a few years earlier.  However, in the molecular structure proposed by Little, excitons on polarizable side group molecules replace phonons as the "boson glue" pairing carriers on a conducting polymer backbone. Curiously, Bill speculates that such a structure might be capable of self-replication or "reproduction."]
"Superconductivity at Room Temperature," W. A. Little, Scientific American 212, 21 (1965). [This was the paper that inspired Rick Greene and myself to begin our (to date unsuccessful) search for the realization of Bill's model in charge-transfer and polymer organics.  You can't always get what you want...go to SuperTunes below]
"Dynamic Effective Electron-Electron Interaction in the Vicinity of a Polarizable Molecule," W. A. Little and H. Gutfreund, Phys. Rev. B 4, 817 (1971).  [Numerical calculation of the spatial, but not momentum, dependence of the electron-exciton coupling.]
"Proposed Model of a High-Temperature Excitonic Superconductor," D. Davis, H. Gutfreund, and W. A. Little, Phys. Rev. B 13, 4766 (1976).  [The bottom line is that a very particular exciton-fermion coupling k-space dispersion is required to favor superconducting pairing over dimerization into a static Peierls-Froehlich state.]
V. L. Ginzburg, Usp. Fiz. Nauk 101, 185 (1970) [Sov. Phys. Usp. 13,335 (1970)].
"Model for an Exciton Mechanism of Superconductivity," D. Allender, J. Bray and J. Bardeen, Phys. Rev. B 7, 1020 (1973). [Speculation that carries at a metal-semiconductor interface may couple to excitons in the semiconductor leading to a Little-like pairing (curiously there is no reference to any of Little's papers).  Many have searched for this effect, and none (reproducible) have been found.]
"Comment on 'Model for an Exciton Mechanism of Superconductivity'," J. C. Inkson and P. W. Anderson, Phys. Rev. B 8, 4429  (1973). [Claims a technical error was made by ABB.]
"Comment on 'Model for an Exciton Mechanism of Superconductivity' -- A Reply," D. Allender, J. Bray and J. Bardeen, Phys. Rev. B 8, 4433 (1973). [Asserts the IA model does not correspond to theirs. Still no clear experimental one way or the other.]
June 2005 Notre Dame Workshop on the Possibility of RTSC
"Design for a Room Temperature Superconductor," W. E. Pickett, BES Workshop on Superconductivity, May 2006.  [Better bone up on Diophantine problems before reading this.  A review of Fibonacci sequences may be useful as well. I am NOT kidding!]
"Researchers Find Extraordinarily High Temperature Superconductivity in Bio-Inspired Nanopolymer," Paul M. Grant, Physics Today, May 1998. [My whimsical SciFi essay covering the great discovery in 2028 of an embodiment of Bill Little's model of exciton mediated superconductivity. You eventually "get what you need." (see SuperTunes)]
Links to some other "higher temperature" superconductivity sites are listed below:
"The Possibility of Room Temperature Superconductivity," Notre Dame (Year Unknown, Probably 2006).
"KITP Program: The Physics of Higher Temperature Superconductivity," KITP-UCSB (June 15 - September 11, 2009).
"Session T41: Focus Session: Search for New Superconductors - Nanotubes and Fullerides," 2010 APS March Meeting (17 March 2010, Portland, OR).

Back to Tomorrow

Applications SuperWiki
Be sure to read the fine print colored brown
Many of the files are huge (~40 MB)...play some SuperTunes while downloading

Power Apps of Superconductivity

"Superconductivity and Electric Power:  Promises, Promises...Past, Present and Future," P. M. Grant, IEEE Trans. Appl. Super. 7, 112 (1997).  [Based on a Plenary Lecture at the 1996 Applied Superconductivity Conference held in Pittsburg. An in your face review of where power applications have been, were at in 1997, and where they might be going.  Contains a description of the "electricity pipe" concept of Grant, Schoenung and Hassenzahl]

"Cost Projections for High Temperature Superconductors," P. M. Grant and T. P. Sheahen, http://arxiv.org/ftp/cond-mat/papers/0202/0202386.pdf, Applied Superconductivity Conference, Palm Springs, CA, 1998. [An engineering-economy based approach to estimating eventual cost/performance of both Generation 1 (OPIT/BSCCO/Ag) and Generation 2 coated conductor (textured YBCO) HTSC tape.  Unlike wires made from non-superconducting metals, e.g., copper, the cost/performance in $/kA×m of HTSC tapes is highly application specific and cannot be reduced to a single number.]
"Potential Electric Power Applications for Magnesium Diboride," P. M. Grant, Mat. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 689, 3 (2002).  [A quite controversial paper showing magnesium diboride promises to be cost competitive for power transformer application.]
"Superconductivity for Electric Systems 2005 Annual Peer Review," August 2-4, 2005, L'enfant Plaza Hotel, Washington, D.C. [Link to the latest DOE Office of Electricity superconductivity program content, containing downloadable pdfs of the talks.]
"Superconductivity Technology Center at LANL," [Home page at Los Alamos, with detail on their coated conducting program and links to other sites.]
"High-Temperature Superconductivity (HTS) R&D at ORNL," [Oak Ridge superconductivity home page containing details of its program in wire development and power applications.]
"DOE Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability - Superconductivity Program," [Home page of the DOE program in power applications of superconductivity.]
Navigant Report: High Temperature Superconductivity Market Readiness Review  [DOE commissioned report on current state of HTSC technology and when market penetration is likely to occur and where.]

Back to SuperWiki

Superconductor Cable Anthology

"Prospect of Employing Conductors at Low Temperature in Power Cables and in Power Transformers," K. J. R. Wilkinson, Proc. IEE (London) 113, 1509 (1966).  [First serious consideration of cryoresistive power cables, including Nb at 4 K operating in the Meissner state!]

"Superconducting Lines for the Transmission of Large Amounts of Electric Power over Great Distances," R. L. Garwin and J. Matisoo, Proc. IEEE 55, 538 (1967). [A Classic!  All subsequent considerations of superconducting dc cables derives from Garwin-Matisoo. This paper is necessary reading for anyone interested in power applications of superconductivity.]
"Multiple Use of Cryogenic Fluid Transmission Lines,"  J. R. Bartlit, F. J. Edeskuty and E. F. Hammel,  Proc. ICEC4, Eindhoven, 24/26 May 1972. [This prescient study from LANL explores the dual delivery of methane and/or hydrogen as energy agents in a "SuperCable" concept.  However, neither serves as a cryogen...liquid hydrogen was necessary...the discovery of high temperature superconductivity was still 13 years in the future!]
"dc Superconducting Power Transmission Line Project at LASL," ed. F. J. Edeskuty, US DOE Division of Electric Energy Systems, 1 November 1972 - 30 September 1979, Progess Report 24 (Final).  [Massive and inclusive study of a large capacity, 5 GW SCDC cable employing Nb3Sn, sponsored by DOE and the Philadelphia Electric Company (PECO) representing the interests of several eastern utilities (this was "before EPRI").  The project was discontinued after building and testing a few meters of conductor due to lack of funding and lack of utility interest (Thanks to Dean Peterson of LANL for making this report public).]
"Refrigeration and Heat Transfer in Superconducting Power Lines," D. E. Daney and R. H. Hammond, NIST Interim Report 275.05-75-2, April 1975.  [An interesting study of the use of slush hydrogen as cryogen for an Nb3Ge dc cable.  No intention to use the hydrogen as an energy source in and of itself is discussed.]
"Performance Summary of the Brookhaven Superconducting Power Transmission System," E. B. Forsyth and R. A. Thomas, Cryogenics 26, 599 (1986).  [A 1000 MVA, three phase ac cable built using NbTi at 4 K and tested at Brookhaven National Laboratory in the years just preceding the discovery of high temperature superconductivity.  The project was technically successful, but major utilities did not think the technology economically feasible (I know this information directly from several "personal communications.").]
"Practical Conclusions from Field Trials of a Superconducting Cable," P. A. Klaudy and J. Gerhold, IEEE Trans. Mag. MAG-19, 656 (1983).  [The first superconducting cable to be installed on a grid (near Arnstein, Austria).  It used Nb at 6.5 K as the superconductor and had a capacity of 60 kV at 1000 A and operated continuously from 1977-80.  It may be that the Nb was operated in the Meissner state...there is no mention of ac losses.  The emphasis was on the flexible design, rather than the superconducting properties.]
"A dc Transmission Cable Prototype Using High-Temperature Superconductors," T. P. Beales, et al., Supercond. Sci. Technol. 9, 43 (1995). [The first attempt at an HTSC cable, at least a short one. The design is an interesting one, targeting a 400 km European "ring buss" with a 400 MW, 40 kV, 10 kA capacity with cold He gas at 4.2 K blown in one end and warming to 40 K at the other, well within the critical parameter limits of Bi-2223 throughout that range.]
"System Study of Long Distance Low Voltage Transmission Using High Temperature Superconducting Cable," S. M. Schoenung, W. V. Hassenzahl and P. M. Grant, EPRI Report WO8065-12, March, 1997.  [This study was inspired by a talk I heard from ABB at the 1996 World Energy Conference in Yokohama, Japan, which compared the cost effectiveness for well head generation at a vast natural gas reserve such the Qatar region in the Persian Gulf and transport over HVDC lines.  We studied a third alternative, that using a superconducting "e-pipe" to transport power from Qatar to a future Egyptian-Palestine-Israel-Syrian industrial complex, and concluded this alternative was attractive for distances greater than 500 miles.]
"Superconducting Cable Construction and Testing," D. von Dollen and J. Daley, Final Report 1000160, November 2000. [This project was better known as the "EPRI/Pirelli Cable," and resulted from studies performed by EPRI and Pirelli in the early 1990s.  The intent was the design and construction of a 50-m long US standard "pipe type" cable to retrofit 115 kV ac cables with an increased 3-phase capacity to 400 MVA.  The design did not have a superconducting shield which simplified the insulation package (so-called "room temperature dielectric"), but exposed each phase to induced co-phase ac losses in addition to those arising from "self-current" flow.  This design was the basis for the Detroit-Edison demonstration, NKT's Copenhagen Airport, and China's Puji substation.  It was during final testing of this cable that the "blister/balloon" problem manifested, arising from leakage of liquid nitrogen into the BSCCO filaments through pinholes in the Ag tape, leading to its literal "exploding" when the cable was warmed up.  AMSC solved this by later solder-cladding the silver tapes with stainless steel.  Since this issue was considered proprietary at the time, there is no discussion of it in this report.
"ac Loss in Superconducting Power Cables," M. Daeumling, et al., Studies of High Temperature Superconductors (ed. A. Narlikar, Nova Science Publishers), Vol. 33, p. 73 (2000).
Probably the best treatise on ac losses in print.  Written by the design team of the Copenhagen Airport Cable.]
"Copenhagen Airport Demonstration," Dag Willen, NKT Cables Press Release, 28 May 2001.         [An RTD design like Detroit Edison.  Worked well, but no follow-on project.  The NKT superconductivity unit was later sold to Nexans.]
"Field Demonstration of a 24-kV Warm Dielectric Superconducting Cable at Detroit Edison," S. Eckroad and N. Kelly, EPRI FY2003 Annual Progress Report 1002040, Technical Update, March 2004. [The Detroit-Edison demonstration remains today the most realistic deployment of a superconducting cable, three cables, 120-m each, threaded though 50-year old clay ducts containing five 90-degree bends approximately 2-m radius of curvature.  Unfortunately, the cryostat welds contained a number of martensitic phases resulting in vacuum leaks which prevented the cable from being fully energized at specification voltage.  However, the critical current and ac loss properties of the superconducting tape were measured and found to have undergone little significant degradeation during the cablve installation.  A system study associated with the project on the impact of coaxial (shielded) superconducting cables resulted in demonstrating the network advantages a very low inductive reactance cable might present in utility operation.
"China's 30m, 35kv/2kA ac HTS Power Cable Project," Ying Xin, et al., EUCAS 2003.  [This project was essentially "Detroit-Edison without cryostat leaks" and performed to its specifications perfectly.  Unfortunately, there are now plans currently in place to follow-on.]]
"Feasibility of Electric Power Transmission by DC Superconducting Cables," P. Chowdhuri, C. Pallem, J. A. Demko and M. J. Gouge IEEE Trans. Appl. Supercond 15, 3917 (2005). [Study of  GW and 500 MW SCDC cables.  Emphasis is on cryogenics, inverter/converter issues and harmonic control]
"Southwire HTS Cable Program Overview," D. Lindsay, 2005 US DOE Peer Review, 2 August 2005 [Altogether, this is one of earliest of US HTSC cable programs.  The 30-m installation at Southwire's Carrollton, GA plant has been in operation almost continuously for six years. The follow-on project will be installed in the Columbus, OH Bixby substation.  This is an adaptation of a conventional triaxial design wherein all three phases are enclosed.  The HTSC cable will be 200-m, 13.2 kV, 1000 A/phase 69 MVA circuit.]
"Albany Cable Project Progress Update," C. Weber, R. Lee and K. Hayashi, 2005 US DOE Peer Review, 2 August 2005. [Cable demonstration at a Niagara Mohawk substation using Sumitomo's "3-in-1" cable design. They plan to have a 15-m segment using Gen 2 YBCO tape.]
"LIPA Project Overview," 2005 US DOE Peer Review," 2 August 2005. [Long Island Power Authority 610-m 136 kV, 2400 A cable project with Nexans and American Superconductor.]
"HTS Transmission Network Will Be the Key of 21st Century's Power Grid," R. Hata,  Kunming Symposium, 24 June 2004.[A survey of all tape and cable programs in Japan by Ryosuke Hata of Sumitomo Electric Industries.]
"Getting the Metrics Right," D. Lindsay, 2006 DOE Wire Development Workshop, 30 January 2006, St. Petersburg, FL.  [A thoughtful appraisal the present approach to measuring and reporting "metric" presumed critical to commercial acceptance.  Lindsay suggests adopting a new metric with units "$/system-MVA/meter/30yr life."
"R&D of 22.9 kV/50 MVA HTS Transmission Power Cable in Korea," J. Cho, Kunming Symposium, 24 June 2004. [Review of the entire Korean program by all participating agencies and not limited to cables.]

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Past SC Application Surveys/Workshops

"Research Opportunities in Superconductivity," M. Tinkham, M. R. Beasley, D. C. Larbalestier, A. F. Clark and D. K. Finnemore, Report on the Workshop on Problems in Superconductivity, 22-23 August 1983, Copper Mountain, CO (Sponsored by NSF, ONR and NBS), November, 1983. [This workshop was held against the background of a substantial decline in funding for superconductivity by Federal agencies and the impending decision taken by IBM during the writing of this report to scale back its Josephson computer project.  On page 12 one can find the phrase penned by Mac Beasley, "At the extreme forefront of research in superconductivity is the empirical search for new superconductors...," which was quoted by Bednorz and Mueller as the first line of their discovery paper.  This report has only this one citation in the technical literature, but what a citation!  A lesson to be learned...do not try to justify basic research on the expectation of applications.  By the way, this report focuses overwhelmingly on electronics...the only mention of a power application is SMES.]
"Superconductors: The Long Road Ahead," S. Foner and T. P. Orlando, MIT Technology Review, February/March 1988, p. 36.  [Published the year following the YBCO discovery, this piece expresses great caution over the high expectations prevalent during this period.  The article is a very good survey of past superconductivity application attempts, their successes and failures, and the impact HTSC might or might not have in the future.]
"Report on Discussions with Utility Engineers about Superconducting Generators," D. Forbes and R. Blaugher, NREL/TP-413-20668, March 1996.  [Bottom Line: The major advantage perceived for HTSC generators was their projected low life-cycle costs.  Most respondents did not feel a significant US market would develop earlier than 15 - 20 years from the date of the report.  As far as I know, with the possible exception of a very small LTSC unit in Japan, no superconducting generators are deployed or planned for deployment anywhere in the world at present.]
"The US Market for High-Temperature Superconducting Wire in Transmission Cable Applications," D. Forbes, NREL/TP-450-20667, April 1996.  [This report summarizes a series of interviews with utility engineers on the market potential for HTSC cables, wires and tapes.  A number of interesting anecdotes are related which give insight into various aspects of utility culture.  The report concludes that HTSC wire sales for cables would reach $66 M in 2006.  The future is hard to predict.]
"Power Applications of Superconductivity in Japan and Germany," D. Larbalestier, et al., WTEC Panel Final Report ISBN 1-883712-46-7, September 1997.  [The infamous male bonding trip featuring lost colleagues and broken laptops.  This report had major impact on increasing the DOE superconductivity appropriation thereafter by 60%.]
"HTS Cable -- Status, Challenge and Opportunity," A. M. Wolsky, International Energy Agency Report, 2 December 2004.  [Alan Wolsky's "Magnum Opus," 407 pages of everything you need or would ever want to know about superconducting cables.  Lots of good tables on conventional HVDC transmission lines and cables installed worldwide.]

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Realities of Life
"You Can't Always Get What You Want...," M. Jagger and K. Richards, (Let It Bleed, ca. 1969). [Both Bill Little and I want this played at our respective funerals. The legend is that Mick wanted to get a "cherry coke" at a London "chemist's" who were out of cherries and cherry syrup.  He was thus told, "You can't always get what you want."  This typifies the long search for room temperature superconductivity.  Enjoy.}
"Tomorrow," R. Seger, (ca. 1970s). [A parable on the difficulties of predicting the future...like applications of superconductivity!]
"It's a Long Way to the Top...," Bon Scott, Malcolm Young and Angus Young, (High Voltage, 1975).  [...If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll.  The "Top" in this case is T > 300 K.]
Songs of Irish Freedom
"Roddy McCorley," Ethna Carberry, (A Ballad of the Irish Rebellion of 1798, lyrics ca. 1890).  [Nothing to do with superconductivity, although the underlying ideas that eventually explained it were developed by the Irish physicists Michael Faraday and William Thomsen.  If you ever wonder why immigrants come to America, here's one reason...at home you got hung if you spoke out.]
"Boolavogue," P. J. McCall, (The Wexford Uprising in 1798, lyrics 1898).  [Ambush of a British cavalry regiment led by Father John Murphy, pastor of the local parish. Involvement of Catholic clergy against the British was unusual, since a "quid pro quo" between the Irish hierarchy and the Church of England required the excommunication of all and any who fought against the crown.  Father Murphy was later captured, hung and his body burned. Nice.]
"Grace," Frank & Sean O'Meara, (The Easter Uprising in 1916, lyrics 1985).  [The ballad of Irish poet Joseph Plunkett and his bride Grace Gifford.  They were to be married on Easter Sunday, 1916. However, unknown to Grace,  Plunkett was a member of the Irish resistance behind the Dublin rebellion and was subsequently captured.  The two were married in Kilmainham jail on the early morning of 4 May 1916.  They were given 10 minutes together guarded by 15 British soldiers.  Plunkett was then taken out and shot.]
"Only Our Rivers Run Free," Mickey MacConnell, (Homily on a united Ireland,lyrics 1985).  [Mickey MacConnell is a Kerry newspaper columnist and song writer, and Only Our Rivers Run Free was written during the times of the IRA attacks in the North.]
"The Town I Loved So Well," Phil Coulter, (Derry and the Troubles, lyrics ca. 1970s).  [Many consider this ballad the unofficial National Anthem of Northern Ireland.  It recounts the garrisoning of Derry by the British Army during 70s and the destruction that followed.  It concludes, "I can only pray for a bright new day," and recent accords between the North and the Republic may indeed see its dawning.  Yet even today there is very little social mixing between the Protestant and Catholic populations in Northern Ireland, as between Shia and Sunni in Iraq.  Such is a situation impossible for most Americans to fathom.]
"The Skye Boat Song," Harold Boulton, (ca. 1930s, lyrics based on a 18th Century Scottish aire).  [Relates the escape of Charles Stuart to the Isle of Skye after his disastrous defeat at the hands of the English at Culludon.  Maybe he had some members of Clan Grant on board as well. Fortunately, many Scots remained to later create and rise to give us James Clerk Maxwell, James Dewar and Peter Higgs.]
"High Voltage," Bon Scott, Malcolm Young and Angus Young, (T.N.T, 1975).  [No transformers or power electronics needed...except for Angus' guitar.]
Songs to Drink To
"Ringsend Rose," Pete St. John, (Ringsend District, Dublin, lyrics 1970s (?)).  [A young man is smitten by 17-year old "satin-skinned" seamstress Rose Donaghue "all fresh and new."  IMHO, the most lovely of Irish love songs.]
"Anna Liffey," Peadar Kearney, (The River Liffey, Dublin, lyrics ca. 1920s).  ["We've got the whiff of ray and chips, and Mary softly sighed; Oh John won't you come, For a wan and wan  Down by the Liffey side."  A couple strolling along the banks of the river Liffey in Dublin in anticipation of their impending marriage and to have "little children and rear them neat and clean to shout up the Republic...and fight The Saxon Hun."  Kearny is the author of the National Anthem of the Republic of Ireland.]

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