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Andrew Zimmerman Jones

Quantum Levitation on TED

By July 22, 2012

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Quantum levitation flux linesOne of the most visually impressive recent discoveries in physics is the phenomenon of quantum levitation, in which a superconductor becomes suspended within a magnetic field. Quantum locking goes even a step beyond this. This isn't the same as just magnetic repulsion, though, because the superconductor itself doesn't have any electrical charge. Instead, it repulses the magnetic field around it, but if the superconductor is thin enough, then some of the field pops through the material due to the quantum Meissner effect. The result is that the magnetic field actually "locks" the superconductor in place relative to the source of the magnetic field.

Physicist Boaz Almog from Tel Aviv University recently gave a TED talk where he demonstrates the phenomenon. It's available on our list of TED physics videos. (Though it may not be quite as cool as when Stephen Colbert quantum levitated ice cream.)

Image Source: Tel Aviv University superconductor group

Comments

August 7, 2012 at 5:39 am
(1) Rishav says:

The Meissner effect is an expulsion
of a magnetic field from a
superconductor during its transition
to the superconducting state. The
German physicists Walther Meissner
and Robert Ochsenfeld discovered the
phenomenon in 1933 by measuring
the magnetic field distribution outside
superconducting tin and lead
samples. The samples, in the
presence of an applied magnetic field,
were cooled below what is called their
superconducting transition.

August 23, 2012 at 9:20 am
(2) Here says:

Superconductors definition is my fav topic. Thanks for sharing information on that issue. Thanks, Anna :)

September 23, 2012 at 6:46 am
(3) kishan says:

thank sir for sharing this information

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