WHAT’S NEW IN SCIENCE: Superconductivity at highest ever temperatures recorded


SCIENTISTS IN THE US claim to have discovered superconductivity — the ability to conduct electricity perfectly — at the highest temperatures ever recorded. The researchers at the University of Chicago in the US studied a class of materials in which they observed superconductivity at temperatures of about minus 23 degrees Celsius — a jump of about 50 degrees compared to the previous confirmed record, a PTI report from Washington has said.

Said the report: “Though the super conductivity happened under extremely high pressure, the result still represents a big step towards creating superconductivity at room temperature — the ultimate goal for scientists to be able to use this phenomenon for advanced technologies. Just as a copper wire conducts electricity better than a rubber tube, certain kinds of materials are better at becoming superconductive, a state defined by two main properties.”

It said the material offers zero resistance to electrical current and cannot be penetrated by magnetic fields, according to the results published in the journal Nature.” 

“The potential uses for this are as vast as they are exciting: electrical wires without diminishing currents, extremely fast supercomputers and efficient magnetic levitation trains, said Vitali Prakapenka, a research professor at the University of Chicago. However, scientists have previously only been able to create superconducting materials when they are cooled to extremely cold temperatures — initially, minus 240 degrees Celsius and more recently about minus 73 degrees Celsius.

“Since such cooling is expensive, it has limited their applications in the world at large. Recent theoretical predictions have shown that a new class of materials of superconducting hydrides could pave the way for higher-temperature superconductivity.” 

“Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany teamed up with University of Chicago to create one of these materials, called lanthanum superhydrides, test its superconductivity, and determine its structure and composition,” the report added. – IHN-NN

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