AURORA: a public applications server to introduce students to superconductivity

Nicolò Riva (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Francesco Grilli (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), Bertrand Dutoit (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)

Speaker: Nicolò Riva

This talk is mostly for undergraduate and graduate students and for sure for anyone who is interested. Might be difficult for high school students but there are slides and descriptions and with a teacher they will follow it.

To register to hear the talk live with the chance to ask questions:

Here is the link to explore AURORA, which anyone can access in-browser on computer or phone. There are modules ranging from simpler concepts such as critical current calculation, to more advanced concepts such as the time-dependent Ginzburg-Landau parameter:


The growing interest in modeling superconductors has led to the development of increasingly effective numerical models and software. Alongside this interest, the question of how to teach and explain the operation of superconductors to students has arisen. École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), have developed a series of applications to solve problems involving superconductors by means of finite-element method calculations with the goal of reaching out to students and the general public. The applications are based on the commercial finite-element method software COMSOL Multiphysics and focus on the electromagnetic and thermal behavior of superconductors at different scales. They range from the simulation of the penetration of quanta of magnetic flux (nanometer scale) to the simulation of the magnetic field in large magnets (meter scale). The models are deployed via a web user interface, and with respect to the full-fledged version of the models implemented with the software, the applications available on the server have a simpler user interface. For each problem, the user can change a certain number of geometrical and physical parameters, and see how they affect the solution. These presentations introduce some of the currently available applications and show typical exercises that can be done with them.​