HTSC - In the Beginning
Produced approximately May-July, 1987 by IBM Zuerich.
production divided more or less evenly between Praveen
Chaudhari, Alex Mueller, Georg Bednorz, Paul Grant and Ed
Engler. Rather poorly edited with many gaps/repetition, with
focus on both near term issues/applications for IBM, as well
attempting to forecast, with limited success (as of 2015)
societal application in a broad range of science and energy
scenarios...well worth viewing and reflecting upon from
1987 Speech," Delivered in mid-May, 1987, in the
downtown DC Hilton Hotel. I was invited to attend, along
with Praveen Chaudhari.
[An hour long
presentation, with most of the cabinet attending, on the
"promise' of the newest "American" discovery against the
background of the political agenda that "the Japanese were
"eating our lunch"") (Today (2015) it's the Chinese).
The first 10 minutes were a review of current foreign policy
developments, the rest proposing what became the DOE
Superconductivity Partnership Initiative, a partnership of
industry, national labs and the congressional budget
committees, that performed with tremendous success up to its
end in 2010, by which time most application efforts were
tested and whose fruits now "sit on the shelf," awaiting
deployment by the private sector. A personal tale for
"future telling" was a conversation between Praveen and I on
the internal politics pursuing the IBM program shared by by
Yorktown, San Jose and Zuerich.
Remarks on the IBM JJ Project," Abstracted from the 1988
CBS Nova program, Race for the Superconductor (see below).
[As reflected in Pres.
Reagan's 1988 talk (above), there was a wide ranging belief
in the mid-1980s that American companies were abandoning
product development of their R&D activities to the Japanese,
and significant portion of this Nova production reflected
this attitude.. An oft-mentioned example at the time was
IBM's "abandonment" of its 5-year, 300 M$ Josephson computer
program, and the Nova producers asked me to briefly address
this issue. What in fact had transpired was that
MOSFET technology, also under development by IBM, had
surpassed the advantages offered by Josephson. By
1990, Japan had learned the same lesson, and they terminated
their Josephson program as well. This episode
illustrates the difficulty politicians, bureaucrats and
academics have understanding how profit-oriented technology
actually emerges...and still do! (2015).]
is Superexciting!," 27 May 1988, San Jose, Costa Rica.
[I was asked by IBM de
Costa Rica to address a meeting of most of the then members
of the Costa Rican Assembly on the excitement endemic
worldwide over the discoveries of the past 20 months (I also
got to share lunch with President Oscar Arias Sanchez).
The talk is rather long and rambling, but form the basis of
subsequent presentations I was asked to deliver to
subsequent IBM-organized conferences throughout Europe and
Northern Ireland. At the end of this talk, I pointed
out the first "application" of the Bednorz-Mueller
discoveries was the development of levitation kits built in
high schools worldwide as part of their science education
experience. This first application remains perhaps the
only one even today (2015).
for the Superconductor," 1987-1988 Nova Production,
Released 1Q 1988.
The Race for the Prize," 1988 BBC Horizons.
Crash," 2008 Production by Omnifilm Entertainment
documentary expounding the concept of the "resilient" or
"smart" grid. In several places throughout this one
hour video, particularly 15 minutes, the concept of the
Energy SuperGrid is put forth, a symbiosis of nuclear,
hydrogen and superconductivity as the future energy scenario
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