Superconductivity is a phenomenon whereby a charge moves through a material without resistance. In theory this allows electrical energy to be transferred between two points with perfect efficiency, losing nothing to heat – from magnetically levitating trains to MRI machines and particle accelerators.

However, superconductivity is suppressed in the presence of magnetic fields, limiting the ability to use these materials in real life applications. And the motion of vortices, which can withstand much higher values of magnetic fields, introduces unwanted dissipation that is disruptive to applications. Addressing the physics of fast moving vortices experimentally has proven extremely challenging, mainly because of the lack of adequate tools. Until now!

On this episode of HUJI Bites we speak to Dr. Yonathan Anahory, senior lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Racah Institute of Physics. Anahory and his team of researchers are using a novel microscopy technique to show for the first time how these vortices move in superconducting materials and how fast they may travel.