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Lecture Demonstrations Laboratory

Physics Rm. 202

(434) 924-6800

The Demonstrations Manual

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Electric Fields And Potential
Current and Resistance
Resistance Model
Temperature Effects on the Resistance of Copper Wire
Temperature Effects on Resistivity
Superconducting Wire
Electromotive Force And Current
DC Circuits
Magnetic Materials
Complex Circuits
Semiconductors And Tubes
Transmission Lines and Antennas

Superconducting Wire


Show the resistance of a superconductor vanishes below the critical temperature. Tc = 90K for YBCO.


This demo utilizes a short length of high temperature superconducting (HTS) wire, which is actually shaped like a ribbon with Yttrium Barium Copper Oxide (YBCO) sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel. Tc = 90K. For example, STI describes some of the different superconducting wires.

Connect power supply to black and red leads. Connect the other two leads to the voltmeter.

Turn on the power supply and adjust the current until 1/2 A flows through the wire.

Have students watch the reading on the voltmeter while the LN2 is poured into the styrofoam container. After a few seconds, the voltage drop across the wire will fall to zero.


Use the HP 6214a power supply.


  • Digital Multimeter
  • Superconducting wire apparatus