Slow train to science
17 February 2017

From Frustration to Discovery

Hop on this information train for a step-by-step look at how one physicist uses magnets to understand superconductors, spin liquids and why some materials get frustrated.

We all get frustrated when we don't get what we want.

Like when you go home after work and all you want is to grab a beer and crash on the couch. But your kids want dinner, the dog needs a walk, and the wireless is on the fritz again. Relaxation is hours away: So frustrating!

Well, that happens to materials, too. Hop on this Slow Train to Science, and we'll show you that their pain could be our science gain.

The engineer on this train is Duke University physics professor Sara Haravifard. Haravifard is interested in spin liquids (read on for details of these exotic materials) and high-temperature superconductors, materials that conduct electricity without resistance at relatively high temperatures. Although they are a very hot topic of research, most have been discovered by accident. Haravifard wants to design them purposefully … and has plotted a route to get there.

This train for the brain offers a variety of paths, including detours for passengers wanting more background. Feel free to customize your journey.

All aboard!

Slow Train to Science Infographic

Download a pdfPDF version.

Text by Kristen Coyne; Infographic by Caroline McNiel

Last modified on 20 February 2017