Levitating Superconductor on a Möbius Strip

Image credit: 
YouTube / TheRoyalInstitute

In 2011, I came across a freaky video of quantum-locked superconducting floating discs that became pretty popular -- but at the time, the explanations of what was happening were a bit weak in the videos themselves.

Today, let's look into the science behind that effect, by checking out the same process in a lab, courtesy of YouTube's Ri Channel. In this lab, a Möbius strip of neodymium magnets plays host to a super-cooled disc of Yttrium barium copper oxide cruising along it. It's extra-cool that a Möbius strip is used, as the superconductor rides both the top and bottom of the track as it runs. As our demo instructor Andy says, "All we need now is some liquid nitrogen." Fortunately, there's plenty in the next room. Intrigued yet? Just watch this:

(Via The Kid Should See This.)

More from mental_floss...

July 7, 2013 - 10:00am
webby
submit to reddit