Findings Could Open the Door to a New Era of Physics
Researchers at the George Washington University have taken a major step toward reaching one of the most sought-after goals in physics: room temperature superconductivity.
Superconductivity is the lack of electrical resistance and is observed in many materials when they are cooled below a critical temperature. Until now, superconducting materials were thought to have to cool to very low temperatures (minus 180 degrees Celsius or minus 292 degrees Fahrenheit), which limited their application. Since electrical resistance makes a system inefficient, eliminating some of this resistance by utilizing room temperature superconductors would allow for more efficient generation and use of electricity, enhanced energy transmission around the world and more powerful computing systems.
“Superconductivity is perhaps one of the last great frontiers of scientific discovery that can transcend to everyday technological applications,” Maddury Somayazulu, an associate research professor at the GW School of Engineering and Applied Science, said. “Room temperature superconductivity has been the proverbial ‘holy grail’ waiting to be found, and achieving it—albeit at 2 million atmospheres—is a paradigm-changing moment in the history of science.”
The key to this discovery was creation of a metallic, hydrogen-rich compound at very high pressures: roughly 2 million atmospheres. The researchers used diamond anvil cells, devices used to create high pressures, to squeeze together miniscule samples of lanthanum and hydrogen. They then heated the samples and observed major changes in structure. This resulted in a new structure, LaH10, which the researchers previously predicted would be a superconductor at high temperatures.
While keeping the sample at high pressures, the team observed reproducible change in electrical properties. They measured significant drops in resistivity when the sample cooled below 260 K (minus 13 C, or 8 F) at 180-200 gigapascals of pressure, presenting evidence of superconductivity at near-room temperature. In subsequent experiments, the researchers saw the transition occurring at even higher temperatures, up to 280 K. Throughout the experiments, the researchers also used X-ray diffraction to observe the same phenomenon. This was done through a synchrotron beamline of the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Illinois.
“We believe this is the beginning of a new era of superconductivity,” Russell Hemley, a research professor at the GW School of Engineering and Applied Science, said. “We have examined just one chemical system – the rare earth La plus hydrogen. There are additional structures in this system, but more significantly, there are many other hydrogen-rich materials like these with different chemical compositions to explore. We are confident many other hydrides—or superhydrides—will be found with even higher transition temperatures under pressure.”
The Latest on: Room temperature superconductivity
via Google News
The Latest on: Room temperature superconductivity
- Superconductors: Resistance is futile on January 29, 2019 at 5:39 am
But the real challenge is to understand superconductivity in cuprates, where this states persists at much higher temperatures. A material which behaves as a superconductor at room temperature would be ... […]
- Squeezed graphene becomes a superconductor on January 28, 2019 at 4:00 am
Many features of this superconductivity – such as its proximity to an ... This has complicated efforts to optimize type-II materials and perhaps produce room-temperature superconductors. Now, Dean and ... […]
- Best of Last Week – Superconductivity at room temperature, growing cotton on the moon, food additives and anxiety on January 21, 2019 at 5:32 am
In space news, an international team of researchers discovered a black hole in our galaxy spinning rapidly around itself. The finding allowed the team to learn more about the characteristics of black ... […]
- Researchers discover new evidence of superconductivity at near room temperature on January 15, 2019 at 6:53 am
Researchers at the George Washington University have taken a major step toward reaching one of the most sought-after goals in physics: room temperature superconductivity. Superconductivity is the lack ... […]
- Viewpoint: Pushing Towards Room-Temperature Superconductivity on January 14, 2019 at 9:03 am
Two independent studies report superconductivity at record high temperatures in hydrogen-rich materials under extreme pressure. In 1968, physicist Neil Ashcroft predicted that metallic hydrogen should ... […]
- The culprit of superconductivity in cuprates on October 11, 2018 at 3:09 pm
In the following decades, that temperature limit increased and, to date, researchers have achieved superconductivity in cuprates at temperatures up to 135 degrees Kelvin. It’s important progress, to b... […]
- Either This Data is Incorrect or These Physicists Just Changed the World on August 16, 2018 at 5:05 am
One is building a large scale quantum computer and the other is achieving superconductivity above the freezing point of water, colloquially known as room temperature superconductivity. Superconductors ... […]
- “Random” noise pours cold water on room-temperature superconductivity on August 13, 2018 at 10:19 am
Science is said to be moving faster than ever before. In fact, the pace is usually limited by the flow of information—I can’t respond to your results until I know about them, and journals are notoriou... […]
- A superconductor story with a twist on August 7, 2018 at 12:15 pm
Scientists originally found superconductivity at ultracold temperatures that let atoms cooperate in ways that aren’t possible at room temperature. Even known “high-temperature” superconductors top out ... […]
- Why the Discovery of Room-Temperature Superconductors Would Unleash Amazing Technologies on May 13, 2018 at 8:02 am
Many physicists still believe a room-temperature superconductor could exist. Such a discovery would unleash amazing new technologies. After Heike Kamerlingh Onnes discovered superconductivity by accid... […]
via Bing News