The core of the superconducting levitation system consists of a magnetic track built from permanent magnets and of high temperature superconductor (HTSC) blocks, which are cooled down to the temperature of liquid nitrogen (i.e. -196 °C). The superconductors are placed in a defined distance towards the magnet track during cooling. In this case, the magnetic field profile of the track penetrating the superconductor is frozen in in the material and stays fixed due to the incorporated pinning centers in the HTSC. This enables the superconductor to hold a defined position in the magnetic field profile even if an external force tries to move it. Typically, the low temperature of the superconductor is guaranteed with a cryostat filled either directly with liquid nitrogen or cooled down with an electric cooling system (i.e. a cryocooler).

Principle of superconducting levitation, Superconductor with acting forces
Stable levitation of a superconductor above the magnet track.


Dietmar Berger

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