62nd Cherwell-Simon Memorial Lecture: Quantum Phenomena at the Human Scale - in person lecture


In the public imagination, quantum mechanics evokes a sense of magical mystery and technologies of untrammeled power. Superheroes routinely exploit the “quantum realm” to travel through time or to enter the multiverse, and scientists suspected of leaking quantum technologies to unfriendly governments have been targeted for investigation. We can leave these fascinating topics to Hollywood screenwriters and civil rights lawyers. What is often overlooked is that unambiguously quantum phenomena are sometimes apparent on the macro-scale of human experience. This talk will explore two examples – ferromagnetism and superconductivity – and the ways in which they can be recognized as quantum phenomena. For the skeptical observer, we demonstrate magnetic levitation by ferromagnets and superconductors!


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