Superconductivity is one of those nearly magical properties that seem to defy all intuition for how the physical world ought to work. In a superconductor, electric currents flow without resistance –an electron passes unimpeded through the material like a torpedo through some frictionless ocean. After discovering the phenomenon in 1911 Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes showed that an electric current in a closed superconducting loop of mercury would keep flowing long after the driving potential was removed; he demonstrated his discovery by carrying such a persistent current from the Netherlands to England. [More]
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