Prof. Yosef Yeshurun of the Department of Physics is Head of the Institute of Superconductivity, and Director of BIU’s Laboratory for Magnetic Measurements. Yeshurun is a leading expert on the magnetic properties of high-temperature superconductors and disordered magnetic systems.
In his lab, experimental and theoretical efforts are coordinated within one organizational framework, thus enabling the various groups in the Department of Physics to conduct long-term, methodical studies aimed towards a breakthrough in this field.
Most of the lab’s research activity is dedicated to the magnetic properties of high-temperature superconductors; in particular, local and global properties of the vortex-matter.
Recently, Yeshurun’s group, in collaboration with a group at Brookhaven National Laboratories in New York, fabricated thin films patterned with large arrays of superconducting nanowires and loops. These arrays are able to carry electric current with no resistance when cooled below approximately 30 degrees kelvin (-243 degrees Celsius).
Even more interestingly, the material’s electrical resistance can be changed in an unexpected way when exposed to an external magnetic field. Such superconducting nanowires and nano-loops may eventually be useful for new electronic devices.
In 2010, a “fault current limiter” device developed by Yeshurun in conjunction with Dr. Shuki Wolfus and Dr. Alex Friedman was named one of the top five technological breakthroughs by General Electric Corporation. This passive auto-triggering system – which protects the electrical distribution and transmission grids from faulty currents – is being commercially developed by an Israeli startup company called GridON Ltd., and has already won the ACES Award for academic inventors.
The innovative fault current limiter is based on a unique magnetic core and coils, which change the magnetic state of the device automatically, immediately and passively, in accordance with the level of current flow in the network. During normal network activity, the device is not needed and therefore has minimal influence upon the network. However, when there is a short circuit, the magnetic reluctance immediately rises and limits increased flow.