There are many types of superconductors. Some of them can be explained by an early theory of superconductivity called Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer (BCS) theory. In these materials, vibrations in the atomic lattice force the electrons in the material to overcome their mutual repulsion and team up in pairs, if the material’s temperature is below a particular threshold […]

On June 24, a press release from CERN said that scientists and engineers working on upgrading the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) had “built and operated … the most powerful electrical transmission line … to date”. The transmission line consisted of four cables – two capable of transporting 20 kA of current and two, 7 kA. […]

A close-up photograph of a person applying the brake on a stationary bicycle.

Consider this post the latest in a loosely defined series about atomic cooling techniques that I’ve been writing since June 2018. Atoms can’t run a temperature, but things made up of atoms, like a chair or table, can become hotter or colder. This is because what we observe as the temperature of macroscopic objects is […]

The next time you smell a whiff of rot in your morning’s eggs, you might not want to throw them away. Instead, you might do better to realise what you’re smelling could be a superconductor (under the right conditions) that’s, incidentally, riled up the scientific community. The source of excitement is a paper published in […]