Sunday, April 29, 2007


When I picked up the superconducting disc needed for TinkerTank - Mag(ic)netism, Prof. Hilscher took the time to give me a 20min demonstration of what other things I hadn't dreamt of could be done with a level 2 superconductor.
While a level-1 superconductor could only have made the floating magnet trick possible, with the wismuth-copper-oxide I was loaned things can be turned upside down - meaning one could grab the superconductor out of it's liquid nitrogen bath and rotate 180°, which would have the magnet suspended beneath. Similarly the circular track I was generously also given, which is nicely demonstrating the idea of suspension railways, can be tilted 90° and the "train"/superconductor would still stay on track.
It's all about quantum physics! To demonstrate this Prof. Hilscher took the superconducting disc which had just been simulating the floating train on the circular track and placed it on a straight track (on which he had demonstrated levitaion first) - but now with all the quantums (?) "programmed" for the circular track it didn't sit properly in the air, but hung there in an uncomfortable angle (if you imagine passengers in it). The disc had to be warmed up to then be reprogrammed (having it sit on the track before cooling it down again) for the new circumstances.

TinkerTank Mag(ic)netism:
Wed May 2nd / 6pm Workshop / 8pm Martini hour / WerkzeugH

No comments: