SPINNING WIRE FROM BRICK
Making electric cable with the new ceramic super conductors is like trying to spin wire from brick.Alan M. Wolsky of Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago says there are two ways to do it. The ceramics don't gain their superconducting properties and become brittle until baked at 900 degrees C. The precursor materials can be formed into a magnet coil and then baked in place. Engineers also can embed many tiny superconducting filaments in a more ductable "normal" conductor. This makes superconducting cable that can go around corners. Dr. Wolsky says that, one way or another, "solid progress has been made" in learning to make wire from these brick-like materials.