Abstract by Spencer Wadsworth

Personal Infomation

Presenter's Name

Spencer Wadsworth



Degree Level



Alden Pack

Abstract Infomation


Physics and Astronomy

Faculty Advisor

Mark Transtrum


Surface Roughness of Superconductors


Particle accelerators use radio frequency resonance cavities to accelerate subatomic particles to near-light speeds.  In order to reduce resistive losses, resonance cavities are constructed using superconducting materials.  The efficiency of the accelerator is limited by the ability of the superconductor to expel the induced magnetic fields.  The so-called superheating field is the maximum magnetic field at which the superconducting state is stable.  Previous work has explored the dependence of the superheating field on some materials properties.  In this work, we extend these results to include dependence on sample geometry.  In particular, we focus on the surface roughness.  Using finite element methods, we solve the two-dimensional Ginzburg-Landau equations for surfaces of varying roughness.  By understanding the role of surface roughness, we will be able to guide accelerator physicsts manufacturing real-world cavities to maximize the efficiency of particle accelerators.