Can topological transitions be exploited to engineer intrinsically quench-resistant wires?

Philip Whittlesea, Jorge Quintanilla, James Annett, Adrian Hillier, Chris Hooley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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We investigate whether by synthesising superconductors that are tuned to a topological, node-reconstruction transition point we could create superconducting wires that are intrinsically resilient to quenches. Recent work shows that the exponent characterising the temperature dependence of the specific heat of a nodal superconductor is lowered over a region of the phase diagram near topological transitions where nodal lines form or reconnect. Our idea is that the resulting enhancement of the low-temperature specific heat could have potential application in the prevention of superconductor quenches. We perform numerical simulations of a simplified superconductor quench model. Results show that decreasing the specific heat exponent can prevent a quench from occurring and improve quench resilience, though in our simple model the effects are small. Further work will be necessary to establish the practical feasibility of this approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0500305
JournalIEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity
Issue number4
Early online date8 Jan 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jan 2018


  • Heat transfer
  • Heating systems
  • Helium
  • Mathematical model
  • Superconducting filaments and wires
  • Wires


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