It was a great pleasure to welcome Tobin Gladders and Joshua Dar Santos, the 12- year old grade 7 students from St. George’s School in Vancouver at Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute (QMI). St. George’s School is famous for organizing an annual science fair called Wonder Expo where students present ways of improving human lives and showcase the results of their thinking. The two above mentioned students, fascinated by quantum physics, understood that quantum materials, thanks to their durability, potential superconductivity and other unique qualities, will have life-changing effects on us and wanted to demonstrate this at the Wonder Expo.
Striving to support her son and his friend, Tobin’s mother Karen contacted QMI’s Scientific Director Andrea Damascelli, who as a great supporter of young physics talent, spoke to James Day, a like-minded Research Associate and asked him for his assistance to these inquisitive young minds. James generously dedicated his time and knowledge to explain concepts of magnetism and superconductivity and how they change with higher and lower temperatures. We both were amazed at the level of the students’ understanding of complex concepts of quantum physics.
Excited about the prospect of creating a small-scale prototype of quantum levitation in the form of a track, Joshua and Tobin were thrilled to receive advice from a quantum matter expert. Besides the necessary explanation, James provided the young scientists with some of the necessary materials to create their levitation track, a sample of liquid nitrogen and a dewar (a device needed for transporting it).
The visit left Joshua, Tobin and Karen “thrilled about all they learned” and feeling they had “received an enriched science class.”
We at QMI look forward to hearing about the progress of the students’ work and hope that Tobin and Joshua will continue developing their strong fascination with science, particularly quantum physics. Perhaps we will have the honour to welcome them among our future talented students at QMI.