Download After the Breakthrough: The Emergence of High-Temperature by Helga Nowotny PDF

By Helga Nowotny

The invention of high-temperature superconductivity used to be hailed as an incredible medical step forward, inducing an exceptional wave of pleasure and expectation one of the clinical neighborhood and within the foreign press. This e-book units this examine leap forward in context, and reconstructs the historical past of the invention. The authors study the emergence of this new examine box and how its improvement used to be formed through scientists and technology coverage makers. in addition they learn many of the institutional and nationwide settings within which the examine was once undertaken in addition to contemplating the medical backgrounds and motivations of researchers who entered the sphere following the unique discovery.

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Large technological systems almost never develop according to the projections of their designers (Joerges, 1988: 26-7). What determines the evolution of such systems and the integration of their components? It soon became clear that the commercial success of LTS depended on a number of additional factors. First, solutions to problems of reliability and safety would have to be found, since a complex system is only as strong as its weakest component. e. system components that have fallen behind or are out of phase with the others, would have to be overcome.

First, the paper contained two systematic mistakes that rendered it useless to any reader. He waited until February 18, the last possible moment before publication, to send his corrections to the journal (Wu et al, 1987). Second, fearing another team might meanwhile find "his" new compound on its own, he held a press conference on February 15 to announce, without providing details, that he had discovered a new material with a critical temperature near 98 K. The scientific community and the lay press responded ecstatically to Chu's publication.

Bednorz had already been briefly exposed to work on the superconducting SrTiO3 and agreed at once. In late summer 1983, they began seeking high-temperature superconductivity in the LaNiO system, since it fitted into what they called their guiding concept. They had been influenced by studies of the formation of polarons through the Jahn-Teller effect, which they thought would lead to stronger electron-phonon coupling and hence to higher critical temperatures. In 1985, after a series of disappointing trials, Muller and Bednorz considered abandoning their search.

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