2012 BFY Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Will a magnet fall freely in a superconducting tube?
Abstract: A common demonstration of Lenz's law and of Faraday's law of Magnetic Induction is to drop a strong rare earth magnet through a tube of conducting material, typically copper. The result is that the magnet falls far slower than free-fall speeds due to the resistive damping that arises from induced electron currents in the metallic tube wall. The standard follow up question to this demonstration is to ask of students what would happen in the case of a superconducting tube. There are various (conflicting) answers given in the popular press.  We have performed the experiment, for the first time we believe, and we  show that the magnet remains suspended indefinitely, so long as superconductivity is maintained in the tube. Comparison with theory will be discussed.
Abstract Type: Poster
Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Dr. Greg Severn
Department of Physics, University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110
Phone: 619 260 6845
and Co-Presenter(s)
Mr. Tim Welsh,
Dept. of Physics,
University of San Diego