Superconductors: The Magic and the Mystery

  • Speaker
  • Louis Taillefer, Ph.D.Professor, Canada Research Chair in Quantum Materials, Quantum Institute & Department of Physics, Université de Sherbrooke
    Co-Director, Quantum Materials Program, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research
Date & Time

About Simons Foundation Presidential Lectures

Simons Foundation Presidential Lectures are free public colloquia centered on four main themes: Biology, Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science, and Neuroscience and Autism Science. These curated, high-level scientific talks feature leading scientists and mathematicians and are intended to foster discourse and drive discovery among the broader NYC-area research community. We invite those interested in the topic to join us for this weekly lecture series.

Superconductivity is a magical property of matter, whereby electrons spontaneously enter into a macroscopic quantum dance in which electricity flows perfectly. Bringing superconductivity to room temperature would profoundly transform our technological world. The most promising materials are the copper oxides that remain superconducting halfway to room temperature. But the long-standing mystery of what binds electrons into pairs to form superconductivity has prevented scientists from understanding how this maximal temperature might be raised.

In this lecture, Louis Taillefer will illustrate some of the magic of superconductors, such as helping to image brains in hospitals, whiz subatomic particles around at CERN and levitate trains in Japan. He will also describe some recent advances in research that have shed new light on the mystery: A story of electrons and scientists, featuring very low temperatures, huge magnetic fields, pristine crystals, powerful microscopes, and the quantum world.

Registration is required for this free event.
Further instructions and access to join the webinar will be sent to all registrants upon sign up.

About the Speaker

Taillefer is the Canada Research Chair on Quantum Materials at the Université de Sherbrooke in Canada. He is an experimental condensed matter physicist who investigates unconventional superconductors and other ‘quantum materials’ in which electron interactions lead to novel electronic properties. His discoveries have been recognized with several awards, including the Simon Memorial Prize in 2017 and the Heike Kamerlingh Onnes Prize in 2018. From 1998 to 2019, Taillefer was Director of the Quantum Materials Program of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) — a highly interactive network of up to 60 Canadian and international researchers widely regarded as the leading research network on superconductivity.

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