Levitating superconductor on a Möbius strip

Our demo technician Andy takes a look back at one of his favourite demos from the 2012 Christmas Lectures:

'This was a great demo to work on, because it’s really pretty cool, but especially because Peter (the lecturer) decided to do most of the really time-consuming bit, attaching all the magnets, about 2500 of them, mostly trying to repel each other'.

The superconductor is a piece of yttrium barium copper oxide ceramic, one of the few materials that superconducts at the temperature of liquid nitrogen. We used a Möbius strip – a mathematical shape with only one side, meaning that if you start at one point and follow it round, by the time you’ve got all the way round you find yourself on the ‘other’ side – to show off the full capability of the levitating superconductor.

Watch the full video here.

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