Superconductivity - Resistance is Futile


Description: Students measure the electrical resistance of a normal conductor and a high-temperature superconductor (Bi-2223). They study the Meissner-Ochsenfeld-Effect and the Flux-Pinning-Effect.

Before taking part in this experiment, students should already know about

  • electrical resistance in normal conductors and superconductors (qualitatively)
  • magnetic fields, ferromagnets, diamagnets, electromagnetic induction and eddy currents
  • Cooper pairs (optional)

What students will learn: 

  • how to distinguish electrical resistance - temperature curves of different materials
  • similarities and differences between Meissner-Ochsenfeld-Effect and the Flux-Pinning-Effect
  • how to build a magnetic track for a levitating superconductor

Link to CERN physics: The LHC(link is external) uses several thousand special superconducting electromagnets. Superconductive materials such as NbTi allow extremely high currents in these electromagnets, generating a magnetic field of several Tesla. CERN is also testing new material to build even stronger superconducting electromagnets for the next generation of particle accelerators.


Availability: Can be included in the S'Cool LAB Days at CERN itinerary.

Minimum age: 17

Recommended age: 17-19 

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