Pasta’s place in the history of superconductivity

Physics now owes a debt to pasta in research about superconductivity. This study explains:

Designed 3D architectures of high-temperature superconductors,” David C. Green,  Martin R. Lees and Simon R. Hall, Chemical Communications, epub January 31, 2013, with some supplementary data. (Thanks to investigator Pascal Dominez for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at Bristol University and the University of Warwick, write:

“Self-supporting superconducting replicas of pasta shapes are reported, yielding products of differing 3D architectures. Functioning high-temperature superconductor wires are developed and refined from replicas of spaghetti, demonstrating a unique sol–gel processing technique for the design and synthesis of novel macroscopic morphologies of complex functional materials…. Spaghetti (own-brand durum wheat dried pasta) was purchased from The Co-operative Food (Cooperative Group Limited, UK), penne and fusilli (own-brand durum wheat dried pasta) were purchased from Sainsbury’s (J. Sainsbury’s plc, UK) and HonigTM Samen “Piraten Pasta” was a gift from Jamie Shenston (University of Bristol, UK) and Caroline Walker (Heinz).”

Some detail from the study: