By Helga Nowotny
The invention of high-temperature superconductivity was once hailed as an incredible medical step forward, inducing an remarkable wave of pleasure and expectation one of the medical neighborhood and within the overseas press. This booklet units this examine step forward in context, and reconstructs the historical past of the invention. The authors research the emergence of this new learn box and how its improvement was once formed through scientists and technological know-how coverage makers. additionally they study some of the institutional and nationwide settings during which the study used to be undertaken in addition to contemplating the medical backgrounds and motivations of researchers who entered the sphere following the unique discovery.
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Extra resources for After the Breakthrough: The Emergence of High-Temperature Superconductivity as a Research Field
This is the threshold for the consumer durable sector, characterized by high price elasticity. DeBresson argues that this sequence of diffusion crosses various thresholds of required peformance. The first peformance criteria, at the technical feasibility stage, is that a technology functions at all. At the instrument stage, performance must also be reliable. The machine tool sector further demands technical efficiency. So far, all criteria for adoption are primarily technical, not economic. In the machinery sector, economic criteria begin eclipsing strictly technical requirements: here, the technology must promise increased returns in the long run.
Defense, health, and other research sectors are likely candidates. A diffusion sequence for HTS Based on historical precedent, economic rationale, and existing data on superconductivity, DeBresson has developed a general diffusion model predicting a new technology's most probable diffusion pathway between industrial sectors (DeBresson, 1991, 1995). Initially, new technologies need only demonstrate technical feasibility; cost factors are unimportant. 2 Technological optimism revisited 25 for example in government research labs, the military sector, space research, medicine, and scientific research itself.
Only a third of the LTS basic research groups continued superconductivity research in the universities, usually in small enclaves outside the leading industrial countries. The Soviet Union (now the CIS) also continued its theoretical efforts; it had a long tradition in the field, and its scientific isolation was also an insulation from market constraints (Pippard, 1977; Waysand, 1987). Of the numerous groups participating in the rapid rise of LTS research in the 1960s, many subsequently switched to other areas of scientific interest requiring theoretical knowledge and lab equipment similar to those used to study superconductivity.