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Making Ice Cream Float

Ithaca College’s Department of Physics got a nice plug when associate professor Matthew Sullivan was featured on the November 9 episode of the Colbert Report on Comedy Central.

Sullivan demonstrated the power of quantum physics by suspending a cup of Colbert’s Americone Dream ice cream above a magnetic track. The cup levitated, as a result of superconducting materials and permanent magnets, and raced around the track.

Sullivan’s students Jodi-Ann McLean ’12 and Andrew Hope ’12 traveled with Sullivan to New York City and were integral in getting the demonstration ready for prime time. The clip was later re-aired on the Jimmy Fallon Show.

Read more about Sullivan’s work with low-temperature physics and see more cool videos.



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