Workshop celebrates 100th anniversary of superconductivity

An international workshop held in Bath last week celebrated the 100th anniversary of the discovery of superconductivity by Heike Kamerlingh Onnes in Leiden in 1911.

The event, organised by the University of Bath and supported by the European Science Foundation and the U.K. Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, took place at the Bath Spa Hotel from 3 to 7 May.

Titled ‘Superconductivity and vortex imaging’, the workshop was attended by over 50 scientists from 16 different countries worldwide.

Superconductivity is a remarkable quantum phenomenon that results in some materials completely losing their electrical resistance below a characteristic temperature.

Superconducting magnets are some of the most powerful electromagnets known and they are used in equipment such as MRI scanners and NMR spectrometers, as well as for the magnets incorporated in particle colliders.

A number of activities during the workshop celebrated the anniversary, including an opening address by Professor Peter Kes, who shared with attendees the latest results of his investigations into the notebooks of Kamerlingh Onnes that clarify the events surrounding the discovery in 1911.

There are a huge number of promising applications for superconductors, including electric power transmission, magnetic levitation devices and superconducting quantum computers, to name just a few.

The main themes of the workshop focused on new physics in the subject area, and speakers from around the world shared their latest research.

Professor Simon Bending of the Department of Physics, who organised the event, said: “Bringing so many leading experts in the field together with a large number of young scientists generated a stimulating environment that fostered exciting new ideas and collaborations.”

“The event was a huge success and we are grateful to all those who attended and presented their very latest results.”

You can find more information about the workshop online here.

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