Superconductivity reported at the temperature of a good freezer

Superconductivity reported at the temperature of a good freezer

Enlarge (credit: Manmohan
SinghGetty Images)

Superconductivity offers the promise of hyper-efficient electric
motors, ultra powerful magnets, and the transmission of electricity
without losses. The reality, however, has fallen considerably short
of that promise, as superconducting materials are difficult and
expensive to manufacture, requiring a constant bath of liquid
nitrogen to keep them cold enough to operate. And progress at
identifying new high-temperature superconductors went through an
extended stall, with no new contenders for decades.

But behind that stall, researchers were getting a better
understanding of the physics involved with superconductivity, and
that understanding seems to be paying off. A few years back,
researchers found that a high-pressure form of hydrogen sulfide
would superconduct at 203K (-70°C), roughly 65K higher than
any previous material. Now, following up on suggestions from
computer modeling, researchers have discovered that a
metal-hydrogen compound (LaH10) can superconduct all the way up to
250K. That’s roughly -25°C, a temperature that can be reached by a
good freezer.

Unfortunately, its superconductivity is dependent upon pressure
and required compressing the sample between two diamonds. But the
results do tell us that our understanding is on the right track,
and there are undoubtedly additional chemicals worth examining.

Read 12
remaining paragraphs

Source: FS – All – Science – News
Superconductivity reported at the temperature of a good freezer