Superconductivity: The magic of the quantum world in front of your eyes

Atomic Energy of Canada, Chalk River, Ontario
mar, 05/10/2011

The quest for the absolute zero of temperature led to the serendipitous discovery of superconductivity 100 years ago. There was no intended applied purpose in this quest. Today, superconductors are an essential component of medical imaging apparatus, and can be found in cellular telephony, power distribution, sensors and more. Tomorrow they might be the workhorse of the quantum computer. The explanation of the phenomenon baffled the great physicists of this century, including Einstein. Today, we understand that superconductors behave as macroscopic quantum objects. We understand how superconductivity appears in nuclei, in neutron stars and how it is related to the Higgs boson. But we do not quite understand yet why certain ceramics superconduct at liquid nitrogen temperature. Chalk River has made important contributions towards solving this mystery. This is important since superconductivity at room temperature would "change everything". In the mean time, you will be able to see this natural wonder with your own eyes at liquid nitrogen temperature.