Niobium (Niobium, chemical symbol Nb, atomic number 41, is a transition metal element. Niobium is a shiny gray metal. High-purity niobium metal has higher ductility, but it will change with the increase of impurity content. Hard. Niobium has a very low capture cross section for thermal neutrons, so it is quite useful in the nuclear industry.
People have discovered a long time ago that when the temperature drops to close to absolute zero, the chemical properties of some substances will suddenly change and become a kind of "superconductor" with almost no electrical resistance. The temperature at which matter begins to have this strange "superconducting" property is called the critical temperature. Needless to say, the critical temperature of various substances is different.
You must know that ultra-low temperatures are not easy to obtain, and people have paid a huge price for this; the closer to absolute zero, the greater the price to pay. So our requirement for superconducting materials is of course the higher the critical temperature, the better.
There are many elements with superconducting properties, and niobium is the one with the highest critical temperature. The alloy made of niobium has a critical temperature as high as 18.5 to 21 degrees absolute temperature, which is currently the most important superconducting material.
People once did such an experiment: put a metal niobium ring that was cold to a superconducting state, pass the current and then disconnect the current, and then seal the whole set of equipment and keep it at a low temperature. After two and a half years, people turned on the instrument and found that the current in the niobium ring was still flowing, and the current strength was almost the same as when it was first powered on!
It can be seen from this experiment that superconducting materials hardly lose current. If a superconducting cable is used for power transmission, because it has no resistance, there will be no energy loss when the current passes, so the power transmission efficiency will be greatly improved.
Someone designed a high-speed magnetic levitation train with superconducting magnets installed on the wheels so that the entire train can float on the track for about ten centimeters. In this way, there will be no friction between the train and the track, reducing the resistance to forward movement. A maglev train carrying hundreds of people can reach a speed of more than 500 kilometers per hour with only one hundred horsepower.
Use a niobium-tin tape that is 20 kilometers long and is wound on a wheel rim with a diameter of 1.5 meters. The winding can generate a strong and stable magnetic field, which is enough to lift a 122 kilogram weight and make it Suspended in the magnetic field. If this magnetic field is used in the thermonuclear fusion reaction and the powerful thermonuclear fusion reaction is controlled, it is possible to provide us with a large amount of almost endless cheap electricity.
People used niobium-titanium superconducting material to make a DC generator. It has many advantages, such as small size, light weight, and low cost. Compared with an ordinary generator of the same size, it generates a hundred times more electricity.
Niobium also occupies an important position in surgical medicine. It can not only be used to manufacture medical equipment, but also a good "biocompatible material" because it has excellent corrosion resistance and will not interact with various liquids in the human body. The substance acts, and almost does not damage the organism's body tissues. It can be adapted to any sterilization method, so it can be combined with organic tissues for a long time and stay in the human body harmlessly.
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