High-Temperature Superconductivity, Energy and Life: Entertaining Aspects of High Magnetic Field Research
Greg Boebinger, Florida State University and University of Florida; Director, National High Magnetic Field Laboratory

The MagLab exists to provide its international user community with unique magnets and expertise spanning condensed matter physics, materials research, chemistry, biochemistry and biology. We generate magnetic fields exceeding two million times the Earth’s magnetic field. This talk begins by answering the question, “Why would anyone want to do such a thing?” Illustrative examples from the portfolio of user research will include

  • electron correlations: tweaking macroscopic quantum phenomena in high-temperature superconductors;

  • energy: analyzing nature’s most complex fluid, petroleum, using ion cyclotron resonance; and

  • life: using quantum dots and sodium to revolutionize magnetic resonance imaging.

    The talk will then focus on our own recent work measuring the specific heat of one of the most-studied of the high-temperature superconductors, YBaCuO, as the magnetic field suppresses the superconductivity. These measurements place a clear and strong thermodynamic constraint on the still contentious discussions surrounding the nature of the magnetic-field-induced resistive state in underdoped YBCO. During the talk, jokes will very likely be told.