"Too Cool to Resist: The Mystery of Superconductivity"

Ross McDonald
Los Alamos National Laboratory

Wednesday, January 14, 2015
6 - 7:30 PM

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Education Annex
123 Grant Avenue, Santa Fe

Aerial View of Annex Location

At temperatures very close to absolute zero, some materials lose all resistance to the flow of electrical current and become superconducting. The reason this happens is well understood. However, other materials can superconduct at much higher temperatures, and the reasons for this are not understood. Come learn how scientists at the LANL High Magnetic Field Lab are making progress in this frontier area.

Admission is Free. Youth (ages 13-19) seating a priority. Light refreshments will be served.

Ross will also appear on the Santa Fe Radio Café with host Mary-Charlotte Domandi at 8 AM the day of the Café, on KSFR 101.1 FM and streaming on the web at www.ksfr.org.

The Cafés are sponsored by the Santa Fe Alliance for Science, the Santa Fe Public Schools, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, the Fractal Foundation and the Santa Fe Institute.

If you'd like more information, please call the phone number given above or send an email.


Spring 2015 Science Café Series

The Cafés will be held in the O'Keeffe Education Annex, 123 Grant Avenue, Santa Fe, from 6 to 7:30 pm. Light refreshments will be served. Admission is free. Seating preference will be given to "young thinkers" (ages 13-19).

  • Wednesday, January 14, 2015. "Too Cool to Resist -- The Mystery of Superconductivity" (Ross McDonald, Los Alamos National Laboratory). At temperatures very close to absolute zero, some materials lose all resistance to the flow of electrical current and become superconducting. The reason this happens is well understood. However, other materials can superconduct at much higher temperatures, and the reasons for this are not understood. Come learn how scientists at the LANL High Magnetic Field Lab are making progress in this frontier area.

  • Wednesday, February 25, 2015. "Discovering New Particles at the LHC". (Sally Seidel, University of New Mexico)

  • Wednesday, April 22, 2015. "The Dark Side of the Internet" (Stephanie Forrest, University of New Mexico and Santa Fe Institute.

Fall 2015 Science Café Series

  • Wednesday, September 16. "The Grand Tour: Exploring the Diversity of Planets Outside the Solar System" (Heather Knutson, California Institute of Technology).

  • October, 2015. TBD.

  • December, 2015. TBD.


Videos, KSFR Radio Café Interviews with Mary Charlotte and other information about earlier Science Cafés. Click on a title to find the associated abstract.

  1. "Fighting Ebola with Math"
    (Sam Scarpino, 12/10/14)
    Radio Café is not available

  2. "Music and Math"
    (Cris Moore, 10/23/14)
    Café Video (58 Minutes)
    Radio Café is not available

  3. "Understanding Global Warming"
    (Donald Neidig, 9/10/14)
    Café Video (57 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  4. "Conserving the Otters of the World"
    (Melissa Savage, 4/30/14)
    Café Video (43 Minutes)
    Radio Café is not available

  5. "Discovering the Atomic Structure of the World Around Us"
    (Katharine Page, 2/26/14)
    Café Video (52 Minutes)
    Radio Café is not available

  6. "Bionic Hearing: The Science and the Experience"
    (Ian Shipsey, 1/23/14)
    Café Video (77 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  7. "Why Wolves?"
    (David Parsons, 11/12/13)
    Café Video (55 Minutes)
    Radio Café is not available

  8. "Imaging the Brain's Pathways to Addiction"
    (Joanna Fowler, 10/22/13)
    Café Video (44 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  9. "A Year In The Life of the Curiosity Mars Rover"
    (Nina Lanza, 9/11/13)
    Café Video (52 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  10. "Complexity Science: A Guided Tour"
    (Melanie Mitchell, 5/1/13)
    Café Video (56 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  11. "Heads Up! Protecting the Earth From Large Asteroid Impacts"
    (Cathy Plesko, 2/27/13)
    Café Video (53 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Cafe Interview

  12. "What Is Light? What Are Radio Waves?"
    (Bruce Sherwood, 1/16/13)
    Café Video (69 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

    Additional material discussed at the Café: Brain cancer incidence trends in relation to cellular telephone use in the United States, Peter D. Inskip, Robert N. Hoover, and Susan S. Devesa, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. Neuro-Oncology 12(11):1147-1151, 2010.

  13. "Recreating the Past in a Computer: The Artificial Anasazi"
    (George Gumerman, 11/7/12)
    Café Video (48 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  14. "Fracking: The Monster in Our Backyard"
    (Larry Kilham, 10/10/12.
    Café Video (52 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  15. "Eat and Be Eaten: The Science of Food Webs"
    (Jennifer Dunne, 9/5/12)
    Café Video (59 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  16. "A Glimpse Into the Weird World of Quantum Physics"
    (Bob Heffner, 4/19/12)
    Café Video (68 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  17. "Renewable Energy: Store It or Lose It!"
    (Albert Migliori, 2/16/12)
    Café Video (48 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  18. "Blind Spot: The Hidden Biases of Good People"
    (Mahzarin Banaji, 1/12/12).
    Video is not available
    Radio Café is not available

  19. "What Is Clean Coal and Why Do We Need It?"
    (Graydon Anderson, 11/17/11)
    Café Video (68 Minutes)
    Radio Café is not available

  20. "Warming Up A Cool Planet"
    (Eileen Everett, 10/20/11)
    Café Video (63 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  21. "Einstein's Relativity for Students of All Ages"
    (Bob Eisenstein, 9/15/11)
    Café Video (56 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  22. "The Physics of Baseball"
    (Alan Nathan, 4/13/11)
    Café Video (77 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  23. "Food Security for Emerging Countries"
    (James Burleigh, 2/24/11)
    Café Video (58 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  24. "Ready, Set, Attack - How Your Body Fights Infection"
    (Lora Grainger, 1/26/11)
    Café Video (68 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  25. "Visualizing Flesh and Bone: Bringing Our Human Ancestors to Life"
    (Anne Weaver & Matt Celesky, 11/10/10)
    Café Video (58 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  26. "The Birth of Black Holes in the Universe"
    (Ed Fenimore, 10/13/10)
    Café Video (67 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  27. "Radiography: How to Look Inside Explosions, Detect Nuclear Contraband and See Through Opaque Objects"
    (Chris Morris, 9/15/10)
    Café Video (71 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  28. "Climate Change: Can Knowledge of the Past Reflect on the Future?"
    (Eric Blinman, 4/14/10)
    Café Video (58 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  29. "Burritos to Biofuels"
    (Randy Grissom, James Bingham, Xander Pertusini 3/29/10)
    Café Video (67 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  30. "Mysteries of the Great Pyramids Revealed"
    (Michel Barsoum, 1/27/10)
    Café Video (67 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  31. "How to Show Your Parents That E=mc2"
    (Gerry Garvey, 12/16/09)
    Café Video (50 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  32. "High and Dry at the South Pole"
    (Karolyn Eisenstein, 11/12/09)
    Café Video (78 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  33. "H1N1 (Swine Flu) and YOU"
    (Karen Armitage, 10/19/09)
    Café Video (46 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  34. "Water, Our Precious Resource"
    (Laurie Trevizo, 9/23/09)
    Café Video (43 Minutes)
    Radio Café interview is not available

  35. "Nature's Architectural Design of Materials"
    (Jennifer Martinez, 4/22/09)
    Café Video (51 Minutes)
    Radio Café interview is not available

  36. "Adventures with Audubon"
    (Brian "Fox" Ellis, 4/6/09)
    Video is not available
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  37. "Edible Food for a Sustainable Lifestyle"
    (Deborah Madison, 3/10/09)
    Café Video (58 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  38. "Camouflage in Nature's Underwater Realm"
    (George Rubottom, 1/21/09)
    Video is not available
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  39. "A Day in the Life of a Veterinarian"
    (Murt Byrne, 12/10/08)
    Café Video (90 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  40. "Charles Darwin and His Revolutionary Idea"
    (Brian "Fox" Ellis, 11/18/08)
    Video is not available
    Radio Café interview is not available

  41. "We're Missing Most of the Universe!"
    (Tom Bowles, 10/20/08)
    Café Video (62 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  42. "Autopsy/Investigation 101 and the CSI Effect"
    (Tim Stepetic, 9/10/08)
    Café Video (79 Minutes)
    Radio Café interview is not available

  43. "Using Computer Games to Simulate Complex Real-World Problems"
    (Stephen Guerin, 4/21/08)
    Café Video (78 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  44. "Exploring Complex Systems Through Games and Computer Models"
    (Irene Lee, 3/17/08)
    Café Video (100 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  45. "Zooming to Infinity - A Fractal Adventure"
    (Jonathan Wolfe, 1/28/08)
    Café Video (100 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  46. "The Complexity, Simplicity, and Unity of Life: From Cells to Cities"
    (Geoffrey West, 11/12/07)
    Café Video (76 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  47. "Making A Vaccine Against A Moving Target: HIV And Its Diversity"
    (Bette Korber, 10/16/07)
    Café Video (75 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  48. "The Climate-Energy Challenge"
    (Dan Schrag, 9/10/07)
    Café Video (74 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  49. "New Mexico's Solar Energy Future"
    (Ben Luce, 5/10/07)
    Café Video (90 Minutes)
    KSFR Radio Café Interview

  50. "Envisioning Science"
    (Felice Frankel, 2/8/07)
    Video is not available
    Radio Café interview is not available

  51. "Predicting Natural Disasters"
    (John Rundle, 11/16/06)
    Video is not available.
    Radio Café interview is not available