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Mark Miodownik explores the amazing properties of superconductors. He shows how superconductivity can make a magnet levitate above a piece of ceramic (yttrium barium copper oxide). This phenomenon is known as the 'Meissner effect'. Mark also discuss the incredible potential superconductors could have in our lives in the future.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
11 May 2012

Classroom Ideas

Before the clip, ask students to consider the question 'do you think a ceramic can repel a magnet?' Encourage students to investigate types of ceramics and their properties, concentrating on strength and heat resistance. The ability of some ceramics to act as superconductors could be covered as an extension to this as could their ability to remain structurally sound at such low temperatures.