Motion of a superconducting loop in an inhomogeneous magnetic field: A didactic experiment

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We present an experiment conductive to an understanding of both Faraday's law and the properties of the superconducting state. It consists of an analysis of the motion of a superconducting loop moving under the influence of gravity in an inhomogeneous horizontal magnetic field. Gravity, conservation of magnetic flux, and friction combine to give damped harmonic oscillations. The measured frequency of oscillation and the damping constant as a function of the magnetic field strength (the only free parameter) are in good agreement with the theoretical model.