Friday, October 21, 2011

Superconducting Video

This video has been making the rounds throughout the blogosphere, and with good reason. It's pretty fantastic.

The puck of superconducting material is able to stay locked in the air above the magnets because one of the properties of superconductivity is that that it is impervious to magnetic fields. The puck repels the magnetic field with greater force than the pull of gravity so it hangs in mid air.

Though this video has been picked up in places like CNN, MSNBC and NPR, the science really isn't new. This year is actually the 100th anniversary of the discovery of superconductivity. It was in 1933 that Robert Meissner and Robert Ochsenfeld discovered that superconductors will float in magnetic fields, now known as the Meissner effect. Even though it's not exactly brand new results, I have to say, that is one of the coolest videos of floating superconductors I've seen. Here's a great compilation of other ones.

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