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Current may flow free and cheap

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4:37pm, January 8, 2001

Ceramic materials that carry electricity at low temperatures with no resistance are showing up in prototype cables, transformers, and other devices. In place of copper-based equipment, superconducting devices offer potentially large energy savings, but at premium prices. Now, an advance in wire making offers promise of lower-cost superconducting wires.

These remarkable ceramic materials are known as high-temperature superconductors because they operate resistancefree at temperatures in the range of 77 kelvins or more, rather than the 20 kelvins or less that conventional superconductors require.

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