22.68J | Spring 2003 | Graduate

Superconducting Magnets


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 3 hours / session

Course Decription

This course focuses on one important engineering application of superconductors – the generation of large-scale and intense magnetic fields. It includes a review of electromagnetic theory; detailed treatment of magnet design and operational issues, including “usable” superconductors, field and stress analyses, magnet instabilities, ac losses and mechanical disturbances, quench and protection, experimental techniques, and cryogenics. The course also examines new high-temperature superconductors for magnets, as well as design and operational issues at high temperatures.


  • Ten 3-hour lectures - a 10-minutes break at midpoint
  • Two 3-hour quizzes
  • Homework problems


Iwasa, Y. Case Studies in Superconducting Magnets: Design and Operational Issues. New York: Plenum, 1994. ISBN: 9780306448812.

Topics Covered

  • Introduction
    • Superconductivity and Applications
    • Prospects and Challenges
  • Electromagnetic Fields
    • Static Fields
    • Time-varying fields
  • Magnets and Fields
    • Law of Biot and Savart, Solenoids, Hybrid
    • Dipoles, Quadrupoles, Toroid
  • Magnetic Forces and Stresses
    • Forces in Magnets
    • Stresses, Structural Design
  • Cryogenics
    • Operation at 4.2K, 1.8K, 20-77K, Cryocooler
    • Leads, Experimental Techniques
  • Conductors
    • Nb-Ti and A15 Conductors
    • Cable-in-Conduit Conductors (CICC), HTS
  • Magnetic Instabilities
    • Bean’s Critical State Model, Magnetization
    • Flux Jumping, Multifilaments, HTS Windings
  • Stability
    • Cryostability, Dynamic Stability
    • The MPZ Concept, CICC
  • AC and Other Disturbances
    • AC Losses
    • Splice and Mechanical Losses
  • Protection and HTS Magnets
    • Protection
    • HTS Magnets

Course Info

Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Problem Sets