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Magnetic levitation due to the Meissner Effect in a YBaCuO superconductor at 77K
2nd PlaceMagnetic levitation due to the Meissner Effect in a YBaCuO superconductor at 77K

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Science IV (Advanced Editing VII)
Collection: 2011 challenges
Camera: Canon EOS-7D
Lens: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro
Date: Dec 18, 2011
Date Uploaded: Dec 18, 2011

Thanks for! The kind votes and-- comments!!

It helps having a husband who's a physicist! We had great fun doing this. I got to play with a superconductor, a magnet and liquid nitrogen (77 degrees Kelvin)

I used a single, off camera flash for the lighting and a black background.

Notes from my husband:

Below a critical temperature, a superconductor become a perfect metal in that electricity flows through it with zero resistance. Above the critical temperature, which depends on the composition of the material, the substance has normal properties including resistance. "Y-Ba-Cu-O" is a compound that is a relatively new category that has a critical temperature high enough it can be cool to superconducting by liquid nitrogen (77K) instead of liquid helium (4K). This makes it a lot easier to play around with. It is also interesting that above the critical temperature YBaCuO is actually a ceramic and not metallic at all, so its superconductivity was initially a big surprise.

The Meissner Effect is a byproduct of superconductivity. It refers to the effect that magnetic fields are completely excluded from the inside of the superconductor. (Magnetic fields result from moving charges - so a current is made on the surface that counter acts any external magnetic field.) The small cube is a rare earth magnet (i.e. strong). The field on the surface of the superconductor is repelling the small magnet.

youtube has videos of this experiment.

Place: 2 out of 70
Avg (all users): 6.9732
Avg (commenters): 7.5714
Avg (participants): 6.7000
Avg (non-participants): 7.0734
Views since voting: 5823
Views during voting: 295
Votes: 149
Comments: 18
Favorites: 1 (view)

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01/02/2012 12:22:29 AM
Okay this is really really late, (did I mention how busy I was LOL) This was a really excellent image I am impressed by both you and your husband. And you were worried about the point race. I bet your aren't worried anymore.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2011 08:01:26 PM
LOVE this! It is so cool to see your amazing photographic technique applied to such a different subject and so successfully :-) As a scientist, I fully appreciate this image and all it took to achieve!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2011 02:29:56 PM
Quite an astonishing photo and a great bit of science as well.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/29/2011 10:59:51 AM
This is really interesting as well as being a super-photo!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/28/2011 07:29:54 PM
GO, WENDY!! Congratulations, sweet, talented person!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/28/2011 01:03:05 PM
So ... it's not mirror and smoke only? And the title is not made up? Is this all real? Solid gold recipient I hope. 5' in diameter!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/28/2011 12:46:53 PM
astounding all... really. Congratulations!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/28/2011 12:14:39 PM
OMG it really is a YBaCuO superconductor at 77K... I was waiting for the challenge end hopeing the photographer posted how they did that... LOL
Great Job!! Congratulations not only on the ribbon but also spelling the title... :^)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/28/2011 05:15:55 AM
Congrats on the ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/28/2011 02:37:10 AM
You are really something else, Wendy. Congrats on your ribbon for such a "cool" idea!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/28/2011 12:06:59 AM
Haha! I wondered who came up with that title! WTG Wendy!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
12/27/2011 07:02:30 PM
I used to play with these long time ago. So much fun! Nice lighting here
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/27/2011 11:32:03 AM
Another that I don't come close to understanding (Meissner Effect? YBaCuO superconductor?) but I do get "magnetic levitation", love the lighting, the frosty look of the metal chip, and especially the vapor hovering around and behind. Cool shot -- one of my top ten.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/26/2011 09:22:10 PM
Very cool. Love the way you lit this.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/25/2011 11:58:12 PM
BSCCO is even better!
Nice photo!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/22/2011 03:10:08 PM
Cool shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/21/2011 06:17:07 PM
Cool stuff!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/21/2011 09:44:32 AM
I have no idea what the title refers to but it's a cool image. 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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