Levitation

24 Oct

This is pretty amazing. Let me tell you a bit about what is going on here. Superconductors do not like magnetic fields. If possible, the superconductor will expel the magnetic field from its interior. This is called the Meissner Effect. But in this case, the superconductor is a super-thin wafer of ceramic on top of a sapphire substrate. It is so thin that the magnetic field does penetrate the superconductor, but in discreet quantities called flux tubes. The flux tubes penetrate weaknesses in the superconductor, like grain boundaries. Any spacial movement of the superconductor would change the position of the flux tubes. The flux tubes really want to stay in the grain boundaries, so the entire superconductor is locked in place. Strongly.

Image courtesy of Tel-Aviv University

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