Floating Fun

March 19, 2007 — Leave a comment

Magnet Levitates

Originally uploaded by ttfnrob.

In last week’s lab we had some more fun with liquid nitrogen. This time we used it to cool a ceramic superconductor (i.e. not a metal one) and then floated a magnet on top of it. The result in shown in the image above.

What your seeing is a magnet inducing a magnetic filed on the superconductor which itself does now allow the free flow of the electrons to occur since it has been cooled. The two magnetic fields sit equal and opposite to each other and so the small magnet just floats.
The same principal is in use in high speed trains in Japan, only on a much larger scale.

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