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Room Temperature Superconductor Breakthrough at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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posted on Feb, 4 2020 @ 12:27 PM
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has claimed a "room temperature superconductor at normal atmosphere"!! eta: at or near, 0 °C (273 K; 32 °F) where the material drops all resistance to electricity allowing all entering electricity to exit without loss to heat.

They did not claim to have one made, they made it on computer simulation (ORNL has one of fastest supercomputers and is a branch of the DOE). The last "close to room temperature" claim was on lanthanum hydride at 150 GPa (some ridiculous thing like that. The "pressure at the core of the earth" was said a lot). They were squeezing the material to mimic metallic hydrogen. They made it -9 °F.

An international team of researchers has discovered the hydrogen atoms in a metal hydride material are much more tightly spaced than had been predicted for decades — a feature that could possibly facilitate superconductivity at or near room temperature and pressure.

Such a superconducting material, carrying electricity without any energy loss due to resistance, would revolutionize energy efficiency in a broad range of consumer and industrial applications.

The scientists conducted neutron scattering experiments at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory on samples of zirconium vanadium hydride at atmospheric pressure and at temperatures from -450 degrees Fahrenheit (5 K) to as high as -10 degrees Fahrenheit (250 K) — much higher than the temperatures where superconductivity is expected to occur in these conditions.

Their findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, detail the first observations of such small hydrogen-hydrogen atomic distances in the metal hydride, as small as 1.6 angstroms, compared to the 2.1 angstrom distances predicted for these metals.

The breakthrough in understanding occurred after the team began working with the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility to develop a strategy for evaluating the data. The OLCF at the time was home to Titan, one of the world’s fastest supercomputers, a Cray XK7 system that operated at speeds up to 27 petaflops (27 quadrillion floating point operations per second).

“ORNL is the only place in the world that boasts both a world-leading neutron source and one of the world’s fastest supercomputers,” said Timmy Ramirez-Cuesta, team lead for ORNL’s chemical spectroscopy team. “Combining the capabilities of these facilities allowed us to compile the neutron spectroscopy data and devise a way to calculate the origin of the anomalous signal we encountered. It took an ensemble of 3,200 individual simulations, a massive task that occupied around 17% of Titan’s immense processing capacity for nearly a week — something a conventional computer would have required ten to twenty years to do.”, Feb 3, 2020 - Room Temperature Superconductor Breakthrough at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

It sounds like they already had some samples of parts of the material, then devised a way to figure out how close together they could pack it (an angstrom is 10^-10 meters, or, 0.1 nm. It is the scale used when talking about wavelengths of light or atomic distances. E.G., DNA helix needs 23 angstroms to spiral around before coming "full circle", although directly above where it started its spiral).

Realizing the material is a matter of science and engineering, something ORNL should be able to accomplish! I bet Argonne Labs will also verify their results.

If we have created an ambient pressure and near freezing superconductor then our world will change! We will be able to put solar panels out in the desert and transmit the power back to cities. If we ever get grid-level storage, our whole electrical system will become decentralized and redundant/robust enough that we may never see a power outage again!

And, I keep saying this, the electrical transmission system needs a breakthrough before nuclear fusion reactors can come online.

Is this our "moon shot" moment for energy?!?! I hope so!

Isn't it amazing what you can do with a supercomputer running at 17% for nearly a week!!

posted on Feb, 4 2020 @ 12:28 PM


posted on Feb, 4 2020 @ 12:40 PM
a reply to: andy06shake


We can use dry ice to cool it down! And we can pump the CO2 from the atmosphere to make it!

Besides the Grid, whole industries will upgrade because they would lose money if they don't!

I'll take -10 °F. Sure beats liquid helium temps!

posted on Feb, 4 2020 @ 12:43 PM

Well levity aside, if it does what it says on the tin, the application are endless.

posted on Feb, 4 2020 @ 12:44 PM
Theres always a large gulf between the theory and the lab and then making it usable by some cable monkey laying out the cable by the mile.

It'll be good for all sorts of things especially in computing the reduction of heat and power needed in a system which in itself will probably save a load of co2 especially in larger data centres as you can spend almost as much on the power to cool the rooms down as you do to run the stuff.

A lot of the stuff we think of as modern was first invented in the 1950-60's but the production costs and the fact that everything else wasn't ready to make use of it means it sits somewhere on a patent list for a few decades.

posted on Feb, 4 2020 @ 01:16 PM
Won't work.

They need to investigate WHY the pack spacing is tighter than expected.

What will happen, when they try to make this, is that it won't act as a super conductor. They'll have a head scratch moment. They'll wonder if it is some new phenomena that hasn't been observed before. They may or may not realize it's an understood phenomena that they didn't account for.

This will not result in a super conductive material at the current temperature they state, and may not result in a super conductor at all.

You don't play around with fundamental properties and then just assume your practical will be correct, when you made a spacing prediction that turned out wrong. That would indicate your simulation specifications were created under incorrect assumptions.

I'm calling it now, this one won't pan out in the practical.

posted on Feb, 4 2020 @ 01:24 PM
a reply to: Maxatoria

I forget about the necessity of liquid cooled data centers! That would indeed be a huge savings there!

ORNL has a new computer called Summit which is 7 times faster than Titan so the next step (adding more hydrogen to their mixture) should be faster.

I would tend to say, "look at the last time someone made something in a computer and how long it took to made a reality" was truly a long stretch of time. But that length of time has gotten shorter and shorter as theories are checked and verified and we accumulate knowledge. All the materials ORNL is investigating already have been measured and cataloged. It is those measurements they are using to model the hydride on. They also manufacture materials, so they know what is feasible and what isn't. They have already tried 32,000 combinations! I think they can manufacture this one! Plus they have a network of labs where they can farm out specialized items to the proper lab.

That is why I am kind of psyched about this! I hope it is less than a year to have some samples made. ORNL did not mention that part (their website is the exact same story quoted above. Link:, that is just my hope!

posted on Feb, 4 2020 @ 01:35 PM
The navy managed to do this with piezoelectric elements, but their paper was scrubbed of data as it was mostly classified.

posted on Feb, 4 2020 @ 02:07 PM
It all sounds very promising, but thinking this “moonshot” will be implemented for the benefit of mankind, you haven’t been paying attention to what JP Morgan told Tesla when he found out that Tesla planned to make his wireless electricity available to the public for free.

The only way the public will get their hands on free, or near free, energy technology is when the discoverer uploads the instructions and schematics directly to the Internet. Anyone else will only try to prevent us from getting it, because having such technology would make one fully independent. Energy suppliers will lose vast revenues as well as their siht.

posted on Feb, 4 2020 @ 02:41 PM
lets take a look at copper now on a atomic scale its like a highway full of huge pot holes and the electron moving down this highway is constantly hitting the pot holes causing lots of heat as in resistance .
Super conducting only means finding a way to reduce the pothole size .
Fact is a materiel even twice as compact as copper would drastically reduce resistance LIKE GOLD .
Gold has a much much denser matrix thus less resistance . Ovesly we cant wire the world with gold .
So what would happen if you took plan old copper and put it i=under enough pressure to Compact the atoms .
Now this could be done stars do it naturally and the copper would defiantly become more conductive .
A Neutron stars materiel is so dense a table spoon full would weigh tons .
The only question is if you could compact copper to that extent it would then probably be a super conductor .
BUT would it stay that compact when the pressure was relished ?
and just what kind of teck would we need to get pressures that high ?
Metallic Hydrogen is formed in Jupiter sized planets and as such is not even 1 % of the pressure needed to compact copper down to were there is ZERO room left in-between atoms '

Anyway super conductor is not a matter of if we can make them BUT being able to mass-produce them and doing it cheep enough to replace normal copper

posted on Feb, 4 2020 @ 03:24 PM
a reply to: 2Faced

DOE and NSF are kind of already publicly owned. ORNL works among various groups world wide. This announcement is from ORNL where they did the spallation testing and characterized what they were seeing. The so called Switendick limit of metal hydride was being broken which meant that they found a stable version in zirconium vanadium hydride. It is all on file at ORNL. Any partner world wide can access their findings and try their hand at making it. My suspicion is that ORNL already has a couple versions.

The announcement means it can't be hidden like the Navy's RTSC patent does.

The DOE was created to do this very thing, solve energy problems. The reason their are national labs is to keep JP Morgan types from doing what they did from happening again! MagLab in Florida, Sandia in NM, even GA in San Diego has a bunch of funding because of their ties to research labs at universities.

The exact same thing is happening with nuclear fusion research. It is a world-wide effort where facts and data are shared. All I am doing is looking into my myopic view and putting 2 and 2 together. You can "see" it happening! Put the three together: energy storage, energy transmission, and energy creation, and there you go. It is kind of obvious. if my short eyesight can see it, I would hope that it is obvious to all as well.

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