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Levitating Superconductor Research

Faculty/Student research collaboration with Central Virginia Governor's School  


Sam Lee, a junior from the Central Virginia Governor's School, is working with a Randolph professor to conduct research studying the use of superconductors to improve aircraft propulsion systems on aircraft carriers, where the takeoff time is very short. His hypothesis is that by using superconductor levitation instead of standard wheels, the takeoff time can be shortened. While he has been communicating with the navy about aircraft carrier specs, he has also been studying magnetic damping in levitating superconductors in a physics lab at Randolph. Sam is working with Peter Sheldon, a Randolph physics professor, to make a magnetic track, and to measure the damping forces of a superconductor levitating above and traversing that track.