Can topological transitions be exploited to engineer intrinsically quench-resistant wires?

Philip Whittlesea, Jorge Quintanilla*, James F. Annett, Adrian D. Hillier, Chris Hooley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we investigate whether by synthesizing superconductors that are tuned to a topological, node-reconstruction transition point, we could create superconducting wires that are intrinsically resilient to quenches. Recent work shows that the exponent characterizing the temperature dependence of the specific heat of a nodal superconductor is lowered over a region of the phase diagram near topological transitions where nodal lines form or reconnect. Our idea is that the resulting enhancement of the low-temperature specific heat could have a potential application in the prevention of superconductor quenches. We perform numerical simulations of a simplified superconductor quench model. Results show that decreasing the specific heat exponent can prevent a quench from occurring and improve quench resilience, though in our simple model the effects are small. Further work will be necessary to establish the practical feasibility of this approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8252800
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity
Issue number4
Early online date9 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • Energy dissipation
  • Superconducting filaments and wires
  • Superconducting magnetic energy storage
  • Superconducting magnets
  • Waste heat


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