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Quantum Locking

A rare earth magnet levitating above a yttrium-barium-copper-oxide (Y1-Ba2-Cu3-O7) high temperature superconductor cooled by a liquid nitrogen bath to 77 Kelvin (−195.79 °C). When the magnet is placed at any angle relative to the superconductor it remains fixed in position but can rotate about its axis of symmetry. In the image above, the plane of the magnetic disc is at about 30 degrees to the plane of the superconducting disc.I had purchesed this superconductor in about 1982 and told my daughter about its amazing ability as she was growing up. It was only in 2016 that she took pity on me, purchased the liquid nitrogen, handed me a saftey sheet and goggles, and said "OK, now run the experiment!".

Photograph by Rebecca Buchholz.

Ralph Buchholz

1 June 2016