of the National Center of Competence in Research on
Materials with Novel Electronic Properties / NCCR MaNEP

Nr. 25 / October 2011 >>> Download this e-Newsletter in PDF

René Flükiger received a Life Achievement Award from the ICMC

MaNEP honours the 100th anniversary of the discovery of superconductivity

Check the MaNEP news


Prof. Oystein FischerBy Prof. Øystein Fischer


100 years of superconductivity! All over the world there has been a large number of manifestations to celebrate this extraordinary phenomenon. Not only because of the surprising discovery by Kamerlingh Onnes 100 years ago, but also because the discovery of the cuprate superconductors of Alex Muller and Georg Bednorz 25 years ago brought us much closer to a widespread practical use of superconductors. Applications of superconductivity are constantly increasing and there is little doubt that this will continue over the next decades.

MaNEP has been particularly active to make the phenomenon and its applications broadly known to the public.

After a good start in the spring, in collaboration with CERN, a highlight was the inauguration of the artwork by Etienne Krähenbühl, in Geneva, displaying superconducting levitation and the exposition adjacent to the sculpture. More than 6000 visitors have by now seen the exposition and the artwork of Krähenbuhl. The family-day organized on a Saturday afternoon drew about 1200 persons. The group EXOS had a great success by using superconductors in their show featuring 8 representations that were fully subscribed each time.
I would like here to stress that all this was only possible because we received strong support from our many sponsors. I thank especially the H. Dudley Wright Foundation and the Company Vacheron Constantin for being especially generous. 
Of course such a continuous effort over several months is also only possible thanks to the enthusiastic collaboration of the many people from

MaNEP, the Physics section, the PhysiScope and the University of Geneva. I extend my warmest thanks to all of them.

MaNEP and PSI also celebrated superconductivity centennial some days ago, during the Institute open day house. We will find more details about this successful event in the next newsletter.

Professor René Flukiger received recently the 2011 ICMC Lifetime Achievement Award. René has during most of his academic career been a key contributor to applied superconductivity and he has been a central member of MaNEP since the very beginning 10 years ago. I congratulate René Flukiger with this prestigious award and add to this my sincere thanks for his great contributions to our field and to MaNEP.

My best wishes to all of you for a successful winter term with a lot of new scientific results.

The PhysiScope in Paris

On October 14-17, the PhysiScope was invited to take part in the annual "Fête de la Science" at the Cité des sciences et de l'industrie in Paris. The PhysiScope was the only physics team at this fair essentially devoted to chemistry. Four PhysiScope animators entertained more than 70’000 visitors over three days with a show about density and pressure. The public was invited to do a range of fun experiments such as explode (or not) an egg with their hands, play with a fakir’s chair, make a hole in a balloon without exploding it, or float a tomato on different fluids. On Friday, visitors were mainly school children, while the science centre was open to the general public on Saturday and Sunday. This is the largest event the PhysiScope has participated in so far, to the delight of a captivated audience. [www.physiscope.ch]