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Name: Jason
Status: N/A
Age: 18
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 7/13/2004


Question:
I recently learned about Superconductor and Meissener Effect. When superconductor meets low temperature, its electricity resistance becomes zero, thus when the Superconductor receives magnetic energy, it reflects back same amount energy that it can levitate a magnet on the superconductor. We know that Earth itself is big magnet and contains magnetosphere.Then superconductor itself should be levitated from the ground because it reflects back the same amount of magnetic energy received, but it does not happen you know. How about in outer atmosphere, like low orbit 200km altitude? Would superconductor move away from the earth?


Replies:
Interesting question. The superconductor will generate a magnetic field through the Meisner Effect even in the relatively low magnetic field of the earth. Earth's magnetic field is around one gauss or even less, away from the magnetic poles of the earth. The magnetic field generated by the superconductor would not exceed that of the magnetic field of the earth and this is just not enough energy density to levitate. If the superconductor were in orbit then the magnetic field from the earth would be smaller since one is moving away from the source of the field. This would in turn lead to less energy than on the earth. Just to add one more point, not exactly directly related to your question. Magnetic fields are used to propel projectiles. This type of propulsion device was devised more than 40 years ago at MIT.

Dr. Harold W. Myron



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