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Now hundreds ot" materials are known to become superconduc' tors at low temperature. Approximately 26 of the chemical elements are superconductors. Among Ihese are commonly known meials such as aluminium, tin, lead and mercury and several less
common ones-Most of the known superconductors are alloys or compounds-It is possible for a compound to be superconducting even if the
chemical elements constituting it are not,
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Recently some ceramic materials have been found to be superconductor Superconducling ceramics are substances which can tiansmiL elecinc currenis with no loss of energy at temperatures much higher than convemional superconductors (that is. at the temperature of liquid nitrogen).
One use for Ihe new superconductors would be to replace ihose thai need the extreme cold of liquid helium — huge superconducting e lee I i-o magnets used in nuctear magnetic resonance research, atomic particle acceleration and research reactors.
Othef types of electromagnets made with superconductors could be used lo lower ihe cosl of electric generation and storage-Such uses may lake 10 years of research, a quicker use will probably
be in elect ronica,
Resetirchcrs now estimate thai tiny but immensely powerful highspeed computers using superconductors may be three to five years away. Further off arc 300 m.p,h- trains that float on magnetic cushions which now exist as prototypes bul may Eake at least a decade lo perfect. Power lines that can meet a city's electric needs with superconductor cables may be even further in Ihe future.
Meanwhile, scientists around the world are trying to turn the new materials into useful products. Among the most notable is a riicron-thin film to transmil useful amounts of electric currenf without losing superconductivity. The film could be used in the mi-" croscopic circuitry of advanced computers as high-speed pathway (Mapuipyr, coenflireHHe) between computer chips.
Several nations are known to be very active in superconductor research. For example, the United States is spending millions of
dollars on such research, much of it for militaly uses: projectile ac-celeratois, lasers, ship and submarine propulsion.
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Massachuseits Institute of Technology
is an independent
university located in Bosion
area. It was founded in 1^1
Barton Rogers, a distinguished
to be best
Today MIT has aboul 9,700 students, a faculty (npoqwccop-CKO-npenoflaBaTeJibCKHd cocTaB) of appro ximaiely 1,000 and several thousand research slaff. The Lotal [caching staff numbers more thai 1,300. The institute Is broadly organized inLo five academic Schools — Architecture and Planning, Engineering, Humanities and Social Science, Management and Science — and a large number of interdisciplinary programs, laboralories, and centers, including the Whitaker College of Heallh Science, Technology and Management. A unique feature of MIT is thai undergraduates join with graduate students, faculty, and siaff to work on research projects Ihroughoul [he institute,
Most academic activities take place in a group of interconnected buildings designed to permit easy communication among the Schools and their 22 departments. Across the street from this set of buildings there are athletic fields, the student center, and many of the dormilories.
The main purpose of the academic program at MIT is to give students a sound command (npofHoe ycaoeirne) of basic principles, Ac habit of continued learning and the confidence that comes from a thorough and syaiemalic approach to learning. This results in continued professional and personal growth, especially in today's rapidly changing world,
The two essential parts of all MIT educational programs are teaching and research. Both of these aciivities cairicd on together have greater polenlial than either performed alone- They provide experience in theory and experiment for both students and teaching staff,