Edit Proposal: Milestone-Proposal:DISCOVERY OF SUPERCONDUCTIVITY 1911 You do not have permission to edit this page, for the following reason: You are not currently logged in. The action you have requested is limited to users in the group: Users. Please log in or create an account. Docket ID: (admins only) Thank you for proposing a technical achievement for possible recognition as an IEEE Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing. Your efforts help preserve the heritage of technology. Detailed information on the Milestone application process may be found at: Milestone Guidelines and How to Propose a Milestone. At least one of the proposer(s) must be an IEEE Member (including Student Member) in good standing. To the proposer’s knowledge, is this achievement subject to litigation? If the answer is "yes", the proposal cannot proceed further. None Yes No You must be able to answer "yes" to all of the following questions. If the answer to any of the following questions is "no", the proposal cannot proceed further. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are unable to answer "yes" to all of the following and would still like to proceed. Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old? None Yes No Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s designated fields as defined by IEEE Bylaw I-104.11, namely: Engineering, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, Physical Sciences, Biological and Medical Sciences, Mathematics, Technical Communications, Education, Management, and Law and Policy. None Yes No Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity? None Yes No Was it of at least regional importance? None Yes No Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)? None Yes No Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony? None Yes No Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated? None Yes No Has the owner of the site given permission to place an IEEE plaque? Yes No Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred: Title of the proposed milestone. (Include date or date range in title. Example: “Alternating Current Electrification, 1886”) Please provide a plaque citation in English summarizing the achievement and its significance. Text absolutely limited by plaque dimensions to 70 words; 60 is preferable for aesthetic reasons. NOTE: The IEEE History Committee shall have final determination on the wording of the citation. Names of living persons are not normally used in citations. Exceptions to this are cases where the person's name is linked to the achievement itself (e.g. the Lempel-Ziv algorithm, Maxwell's Equations, etc.) or where the person's name is so widely recognizeable to the general public that it makes sense to use it. When used, the names should be the names of the engineers, scientists, or technologists who actually made the achievement, rather than managers or executives. For more information and suggestions about writing milestone citations, please visit Helpful Hints on Citations, Plaque Locations. In what IEEE section(s) will the milestone plaque(s) reside? Please specify the IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone, and supply name and contact information for the senior officer from those OU(s). Sponsorship has three aspects: 1) Payment for the cost of the plaque(s), 2) Arranging the dedication ceremony, and 3) agreeing to monitor the plaque and to let IEEE History Center staff know in case the plaque needs to be moved, is no longer secure, etc. Number 3 must be done by the IEEE Section(s) in which the plaque(s) is located, but aspects 1 and 2 can be done by any IEEE Organizational Unit, and they need not be the same one. Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address. IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s) Unit: Senior Officer Name: E-mail: Unit: Senior Officer Name: E-mail: IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony Unit: Senior Officer Name: E-mail: Unit: Senior Officer Name: E-mail: Unit: Senior Officer Name: E-mail: IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque IEEE Section: IEEE Section Chair name: IEEE Section Chair e-mail: IEEE Section: IEEE Section Chair name: IEEE Section Chair e-mail: Milestone proposer(s) Proposer name: Proposer email: Proposer name: Proposer email: Street address(es) and GPS coordinates of the intended milestone plaque site(s). Please include coordinates in decimal format rather than degrees. What is the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s) relation to the achievement? The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque. Also, please Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). (e.g. Is it corporate buildings? Historic Site? Residential? Are there other historical markers already at the site?) Are the original buildings extant? Please provide the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. How is the intended plaque site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public? If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give details as well as the contact information visitors will need in order to arrange to visit the plaque. Who is the present owner of the site(s)? In the space below, please describe in detail: the historic significance of the achievement, its importance to the evolution of electrical and computer engineering and science, its importance to regional/national/international development, its benefits to humanity, the ways the achievement was a significant advance rather than an incremental improvement of existing technology. The material submitted here will constitute the main descriptive article on the ETHW website for readers to learn about the milestone. Space is unlimited, and detail is encouraged. Most milestones require 1000 to 1500 words of support, however there is no word limit. The article should be readable by a wide audience that includes practicing engineers, scholars of history, and the general public. Some examples of the text of good milestone articles are First Radio Astronomical Observations Using Very Long Baseline Interferometry] and G3_Facsimile International Standardization of G3 Facsimile (Do not worry about the formatting of the page, IEEE History Center Staff will do that afterwards.) What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)? Superconducting offers a class of electrical conducting materials which exhibit (near) zero electrical loss and a number of quantum mechanical properties which can be result in many novel and unique electrical and electronic devices and systems. When a sample is in the superconducting state, which for all known superconducting elements, compounds and alloys occur at temperatures below about minus 100 C, samples can carry very large electric currents without any Joule heating. Hence one can build electrical machinery, large electromagnets and high current carrying power transmission cables that can operate very efficiently without any dissipation; the only energy required by these superconducting devices and systems is for the refrigeration facility to maintain the device at temperatures below its critical transition temperature. Superconducting components, devices and systems can have overall electrical power requirements which can be two to five orders of magnitude smaller than corresponding devices and systems built using conventional (dissipative) technologies. Superconducting magnets have been the enabling technology in a number of medical diagnostic applications, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), as well as most of the recent and future High Energy Physics particle accelerators such at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (Geneva, Switzerland). The technology is currently under evaluation for use in making the national electric power grids more efficient by enabling improved power transmission, low loss power transformers and fault current limiters, etc. For electronic applications, superconductivity Josephson Junction devices are used in the internationally accepted voltage standard and in ultra sensitive magnetometers which have been used in non-contacting, non invasive magnetrocardiography and magnetoencephalography, locagiuon of ocal epilepsy and cognitive neuroscience studies Furthermore, Josephson junction technology has the potential to yield digital logic chips with clock frequencies at least an order of magnitude faster than possible with current semiconductor technology. What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome? The primary obstacle, which was technical in nature, to the discovery of superconductivity was the inability to reach to ultra low temperatures, temperatures below minus 263 C. (All known elemental superconductors have superconducting transition temperatures below minus 264 C.) Prior to 1908, the lowest temperature that could be reached was about minus 260 C, using liquid hydrogen as the refrigerant. Neat the end of the 19th century, Prof. Heike Kamerlingh Onnes started a research program at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands, to liquefy helium, which at that time was the only known gas that had not yet been liquefied. In 1908, on July 10th, Prof Kamerlingh Onnes was successful in liquefying helium which, at atmospheric pressure, boils at a temperature of about minus 269 C. For this accomplishment, Prof. Kamerlingh Onnes received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1913. Once Prof. Kamerlingh Onnes was able to produce small quantities of liquid helium, and after he and his colleagues learned how to make precision measurements at temperatures down to about minus 272 C (by reducing the pressure over a helium bath), he began the study of the electrical, thermal and mechanical properties of materials at temperatures that could be realized only by using liquid helium as the refrigerant. One of the areas of research was the investigation of the resistivity of very pure metals at these ultra low temperatures, On April 8, 1911, while studying the resistivity of a very pure mercury sample, when the temperature was lowered below about minus 269 C. Prof. Kamerlingh Onnes and his collaborators, Cornelis Dorsman, Gerrit Jan Flim, and Gilles Holst observed that the resistivity dramatically dropped to “practically zero”, certainly it had decreased by more than six orders of magnitude! (In latter years, other researchers estimated that if a superconductor did indeed have a finite resistivity, it would be at least 23 orders of magnitude smaller than that of copper at room temperature!) He subsequently showed that by cycling the temperature around this ”critical temperature” he was able to reproducibly cycle the sample between the “zero resistance” or “superconducting “state and the normal-conducting state, indicating that the transition was indeed a true physical phenomena. Prof. H. Kamerlingh Onnes and his collaborators at the University of Leiden were in a unique position to discover superconductivity since until about 1923, their laboratory was the only research laboratory in the world where liquid helium was available, and thus where measurements could be made in the temperature region where elemental superconductor exhibited superconductivity. What features set this work apart from similar achievements? The discovery of the phenomena of superconductivity at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands by Prof. Heike Kamerlingh Onnes and his colleagues in 1911 was a totally unexpected result, which opened a completely new area of research in the science and technology of electrical conduction in solids materials and in the development of energy efficient electrical devices and systems Supporting texts and citations to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or chapters in scholarly books. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article. 'Scholarly' is defined as peer-reviewed, with references, and published. The full reference, in English, must be uploaded, not just the citation. See below section for details on uploading material to the website. All supporting materials must be in English, or accompanied by an English translation. Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC) which can be made publicly available on the IEEE History Center’s website (i.e. unencumbered by copyright, or with the copyright holder’s permission). All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. Images and photographs are especially appreciated, however, it is necessary that you list the copyright owner for these and obtain the copyright owner’s permission to reuse. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to email@example.com. Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information. To add attachments, first upload the file and add by adding the text: [[Media:(filename)]] For example, if the file you uploaded was named "Milestone Reference.pdf", include the text: [[Media:Milestone Reference.pdf]] in the appropriate field. Please email a jpeg or PDF a letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property, and a letter (or forwarded email) from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Attention: Milestone Administrator." Note that there are multiple texts of the letter depending on whether an IEEE organizational unit other than the section will be paying for the plaque(s). Submit this proposal to the IEEE History Committee for review. 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