Alexander Shengelaya: Amazing World of Superconductivity
Tuesday, 02 June, 2015

ISET continues its Distinguished Professors Lecture Series in cooperation with Tbilisi State University (TSU). On Monday, June 1st, in this installment of the lecture series, ISET hosted Alexander Shengelaya, professor of TSU and University of Zurich. Prof. Shengelaya delivered a lecture titled “Amazing World of Superconductivity” accompanied by the actual experiment about superconductivity.

Prof. Shengelaya entered the conference room with a huge thermos in his hand that provoked curiosity among the audience. He started his presentation by reflecting on the development and generation of energy consumption over the last century and the future challenges of this sector.

This was the last topic in his talk that economists are familiar with, however, thanks to Prof. Shengelaya’s ability to simply explain complicated concepts and methods, the rest of the talk was similarly easily understandable.

During the presentation, Prof. Shengelaya explained what is the relation between temperature and resistance – the higher the material temperature, the higher is the resistance of the conductor and the loss of energy. Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, Johannes Georg Bednorz, and Karl Alexander Müller were the first scientists among many others in the history of Physics who have made a huge breakthrough by discovering materials resistance of which is zero at a different level of Kelvin temperature scale. All of them won Nobel Prize (H. K. Onnes separately, J. G. Bednorz and K. A. Müller for their joint result).

As Prof. Shengelaya highlighted due to increasing energy consumption, one of the biggest challenges of contemporary physics is to find materials with optimal higher critical temperatures. Prof. Shengelaya also emphasized on practical use of superconductivity and its potential role in future and contemporary technologies such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), the Meissner effect, and magnetic levitation. And finally, at the end of the presentation, Prof. Shengelaya opened his magic thermos which appeared to be full of liquid Nitrogen. He demonstrated the experiment about superconductivity and magnetic levitation. The experiment was successful and provoked enormous interest in the audience.

ISET would like to thank Prof. Alexander Shengelaya for his extremely exciting lecture and experiment.