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Quantum Levitation Question

  1. Dec 17, 2013 #1
    Okay so I am a highschool student so please don't hate me if this is a dumb question.

    I'm am doing a Science Fair Project in a couple of months and I decided to start thinking of some ideas. I'm thinking of doing Quantum Levitation (Quantum Locking) and the science behind it. So as most of you know you need a superconductor (YBa2Cu3O7) cooled to Liquid Nitrogen Temps to react with the magnetic field of a rare metal. So I'm wanting to buy all of the stuff to make the demonstration of the cooled superconductor disk going around a magnetic track, but unfortunately these large magnetic tracks are a little over my budget. So I decreased the size of the track to a rare metal ring magnet.

    So the question is will a 1/2" YBa2Cu3O7 disk go around (like a race track) this rare metal ring magnet (http://www.kjmagnetics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=RZ0X84)? Or will it simply hover in the middle?
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 18, 2013 #2


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    It should. All you want is a uniform field in direction you want the Type II to "glide" and a gradient in direction you want it to be "locked". This magnet has poles on flat ends, so magnetic field is uniform as you go around, but changes as you get closer or further. If you manage to trap magnetic field in the flux tubes of HTSC, it should do exactly what you want. And it should be just a matter of cooling HTSC with LN2, but I've never tried this bit myself, so take it with a grain of salt.

    P.S. This would probably better fit in the Atomic/Solid State branch of the forum. I mean, Superconductivity is a quantum effect, but "Quantum Levitation" is a huge misnomer. It'd be like saying, "Quantum Laser." Completely redundant and misleading.

    Besides, everything you are going to need to know for this has nothing to do with Quantum Mechanics. I encourage you to see how much of QM side of superconductor physics you can understand, but don't worry if it isn't much. On the other hand, the electromagnetic aspects of it should be entirely within your grasp, perhaps, with some reading.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
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