Few physicists have had the privilege of being at the height of their career when a major breakthrough in their field is made – putting them at the leading edge of the frenzy of research that follows. Paul Michael Grant was a physicist at IBM's Almaden labs in California in 1986 when his colleagues at the firm's site in Zurich discovered the first high-temperature superconductor. Grant has devoted much of his career to the study of superconductors, and since leaving IBM in 1993 he has become a leading proponent of using superconductors to distribute electricity.

In this exclusive video Grant chats with physicsworld.com editor Hamish Johnston at the American Physical Society March Meeting in Dallas about the commercial applications of superconductors – and whether the materials have lived up to the hype unleashed 25 years ago.

Grant has also written two feature articles on superconductivity in the April 2011 issue of Physics World, which can be downloaded free of charge. The first of his two articles can also be read via this link.