High temperature superconductivity

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by billvon, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

    One of the holy grails in science is the room temperature superconductor. It's important because a superconductor transmits both heat and electrical power with zero loss, which would make motors, transmission lines, heat pipes etc far more efficient and practical.

    For a long time metals had to be at liquid helium temperatures to exhibit superconductivity. Then they discovered ceramics which exhibited superconductivity at -135C. Which is still really cold, but you can get to that with liquid nitrogen which is MUCH easier to create and handle than liquid helium.

    Today they announced a material - a lanthanum hydride - which is a superconductor up to -23C, which is a cold day in Canada. They have even seen some signs that it may be superconducting up to 7C, which we saw last night here in San Diego. It needs to be under tremendous pressure (170GPa, about 24 million PSI) but it's a lot easier to maintain pressure than temperature.

    This is the first time that a material in "normal" temperatures (i.e. temperatures people regularly see) has exhibited superconductivity, and paves the way for much more efficient power lines, motors and electrical devices.

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  3. geordief Registered Senior Member

    Think it says minus 13 degrees(and plus 7) in that story.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
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