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Prerequisite for Room Temperature Superconductor Found

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posted on Apr, 16 2018 @ 02:04 PM
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What they found was odd - as the material warmed up from absolute zero, the amount that a magnetic field could penetrate the material increased linearly instead of exponentially, which is what is normally seen with superconductors.

After running a series of measurements and calculations, the researched concluded that the best explanation for what was going on was that the electrons must have been disguised as particles with higher spin - something that wasn't even considered as a possibility for a superconductor before.

While this new type of superconductivity still requires incredibly cold temperatures for now, the discovery gives the entire field a whole new direction.

"We used to be confined to pairing with spin one-half particles," says lead author Hyunsoo Kim.

"But if we start considering higher spin, then the landscape of this superconducting research expands and just gets more interesting."

This is incredibly early days, and there's still a lot we have to learn about exactly what's going on here.

But the fact that we have a brand new type of superconductivity to test and measure, adding a cool new breakthrough to the 100 years of this type of research, is pretty exciting.

sciencealert.com - Physicists Just Discovered an Entirely New Type of Superconductivity.

Full disclosure: This was not found at some high temperature and it was also under pressure.

The OP explains Cooper pairs. Those are pairs of electrons with 1/2 spin. This announcement is about finding superconductivity in 3/2 spin electrons. Everybody expected it to be there but in something like a gas for not a solid material. This discovery abuts against the next news item.

 



By applying an algorithm to a strange section of the periodic table of elements, physicists have at last been able to predict which elements could pair up with hydrogen to create a room temperature superconductor - one of the "holy grails" of physics.


Now, researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and Skoltech, Russia, have devised a process to pick out which of a special type of metals, known as actinides, in the periodic table would be stable enough under certain conditions to exhibit superconductivity.

And it's already led to the discovery of a material that could become a superconductor at a relatively toasty minus 20°C (minus 4°F) - although it still needs to be squeezed under high pressure.

The actinides are a series of 15 metals with large atomic numbers 89 to 103 (actinium to lawrencium), sitting alongside that other weird 'outside' block of elements, the lanthanides.

Observations of the way various metal hydrides conduct electricity at certain temperatures had led researchers to suspect there was a pattern reflected by their positions in the periodic table, but the exact link wasn't clear.


This new algorithm used the arrangements of the electrons in the actinide series of elements to predict which could team with hydrogen to provide an ideal lattice, one that would result in a strong electron-phonon interaction.

The result is the discovery of superconducting actinium hydrides that could be as warm as minus 20°C (minus 4°F).

They still need 1.5 million atmospheres of pressure, but having a better handle on how to pick and match elements to create 'warm' superconducting materials is a find worth paying attention to.

While there are still plenty of hurdles to overcome before we can expect to have resistance-free technology in our home, discovering a general principle linking the phenomenon with the periodic arrangement of elements is a significant step forward.


And it's already led to the discovery of a material that could become a superconductor at a relatively toasty minus 20°C (minus 4°F) - although it still needs to be squeezed under high pressure.

sciencealert.com, April 12, 2018 - A Pattern Hidden in The Periodic Table Could Lead to The Holy Grail of Superconductors.

Most of the research is centered around cuprates (i.e., containing copper) that are ceramic in nature. Looking at other atoms was not very interesting because a lot of materials are super conducting.

This is like finding a spice market when you only had salt and sugar!

Add the two stories together... you can kind of see what should happen next: a new recipe at normal atmospheric pressure and at dry ice temperatures!




 
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