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Meissner effect

  1. Jan 14, 2009 #1
    My question is why does the material having no electrical resistance cause it to repell a magnet?

    And how can it repell and attract at the same time? I don't understand how the "flux trapping effect" works.
    I watched this video and it got me really interested in it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 14, 2009 #2


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    Here's a simplistic, hand-waving picture.

    Do you know what happens if you try to subject a regular metal to a magnetic field? Have you heard of eddy currents? There's a similar reaction when you try to subject a zero-field cooled SC to a magnetic field. Eddy currents are set up along the surface of the SC which oppose the change in the applied field.

    However, there's a limit to how much magnetic field a SC can push out against. If you exceed this critical field, then it becomes energetically easier for the SC to just turn into a normal material and let the field through. In certain kinds of SC materials (Type II SCs), however, before completely giving up all hope, the SC chooses (for a certain range of fields) an intermediate phase where it lets small portions of itself turn into a normal material and let the field pass through only those regions. This is what leads to flux trapping. The rest of the material is still a SC an still repels the applied field.
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