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Lab diary was about 1991 magnet accident

Superconducting magnet failed, explains physicist colleague, as more fascinating details come out about a failed experiment

The notes portrayed in the University Post article about Nobel physicist Andre Geim’s time in Copenhagen are actually about an accident in 1991. This is according to a former colleague.

The laboratory notes are normally not public.

According to professor emeritus Poul Erik Lindelof, the superconducting magnet ‘quenched’.

»This is a major failure, in particular in this case, since this is the strongest superconducting magnet in Denmark,« he says.

Expensive gas released

The quench let out 30 m3 of expensive helium gas or ‘He’, he explains to the University Post in an e-mail.

Since the University Post article, he has been in correspondence with the prize winner.

»Andre Geim sent me yesterday the joking comment: ‘Oh well. At least some use for the wasted He!’ A typical sense of humour from my friend in Manchester,« Lindelof writes.