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A superconductor is any material that can conduct electricity with no resistance. In most cases, materials such as metallic elements or compounds offer some resistance at room temperature, but offer less resistance at a temperature known as its critical temperature. The transport of electrons from one atom to another is often done by these certain materials after achieving the critical temperature, thus making the material superconductive. Superconductors are used in many fields such as medical science and magnetic resonance imaging.
Most materials need to be in very low-energy state to be superconductive. Modern research is focused on developing compounds which could be superconductive at high temperatures. There are two categories of superconductors: type I and type II. A type-I superconductor is comprised of traditional conductive elements that have a critical temperature ranging from 0.000325 K to 7.8 K at standard pressure. Some type-I superconductors need high pressure to reach the superconductive state. Mercury, lead, sulfur and aluminum are some examples of type-I superconductors.
Type-II superconductors are comprised of mostly metallic alloys and compounds which become superconductive at higher temperatures compared with type-I superconductors. However, the mechanisms involved in how the increase in temperature results in the superconductivity for these materials are not yet fully understood. Unlike type-I superconductors, type-II superconductors can be penetrated with a magnetic field.