“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Huntsville in Madison County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)

Superconductivity Discovery

Superconductivity Discovery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, May 28, 2016
1. Superconductivity Discovery Marker
Inscription.  A graduate student from The University of Alabama in Huntsville achieved a major advance in science at this site on January 29, 1987. He discovered that a material composed of Yttrium, Barium, Copper, and Oxygen would superconduct—show no electrical resistance—at 93 degrees Kelvin. The discovery changed how electrical power was transmitted and used.
Erected 2012 by The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama Historical Association.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Science & Medicine. A significant historical date for this entry is January 29, 1987.
Location. 34° 43.763′ N, 86° 38.504′ W. Marker is in Huntsville, Alabama, in Madison County. Marker can be reached from Ben Graves Drive NW north of Holmes Avenue NW, on the right when traveling north. Marker is located in front of UAH's Wilson Hall. The area is accessible from Sparkman Drive or Holmes Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Huntsville AL 35816, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Slave Cemetery (approx. 1.4 miles away); Ms. Baker: Monkeynaut (approx. 1.4 miles away); The Columns
Superconductivity Discovery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lee Hattabaugh, May 28, 2016
2. Superconductivity Discovery Marker
Click or scan to see
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(approx. 1.4 miles away); T-38 Talon (approx. 1.4 miles away); External Tank (approx. 1.4 miles away); Main Engines (approx. 1.4 miles away); Pathfinder (approx. 1.4 miles away); U.S. Army PGM-19 Jupiter (approx. 1.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Huntsville.
Regarding Superconductivity Discovery. Jim Ashburn was the graduate student who led the effort that crossed the 77 Kelvin barrier.

In 2019 the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers placed an IEEE Milestone brass plaque outside the room that once served as the superconductivity laboratory. That plaque reads, “On this site, a material consisting of yttrium, barium, copper, and oxygen was first conceived, synthesized, tested, and—on 29 January 1987—found to exhibit stable and reproducible superconductivity at 93 Kelvin. This marked the first time the phenomenon had been unambiguously achieved above 77 Kelvin, the boiling point of liquid nitrogen, thus enabling more practical and widespread use of superconductors.”
Meissner Effect Demonstration image. Click for full size.
By Mai-Linh Doan CC(GNU), October 13, 2007
3. Meissner Effect Demonstration
This image shows a magnet levitating above a superconductor.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 25, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 30, 2016, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. This page has been viewed 529 times since then and 18 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week January 26, 2020. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 30, 2016, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama.   3. submitted on January 25, 2020, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photo of the IEEE Milestone plaque and a description of its location (Wilson Hall) • Can you help?

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Jun. 13, 2021