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Possible Room Temperature Superconductor Achieved

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the beware-of-puppeteer-breeding-experiments dept.

Science 264

TechkNighT_1337 sends news that surfaced on the Next Big Future blog, concerning research out of the University of Bengal, in India. The report is of a possible superconducting effect at ambient room temperatures. Here is the paper on the ArXiv. (Note that this research has not been peer-reviewed or published yet.) "We report the observation of an exceptionally large room-temperature electrical conductivity in silver and aluminum layers deposited on a lead zirconate titanate (PZT) substrate. The surface resistance of the silver-coated samples also shows a sharp change near 313 K. The results are strongly suggestive of a superconductive interfacial layer, and have been interpreted in the framework of Bose-Einstein condensation of bipolarons as the suggested mechanism for high-temperature superconductivity in cuprates. ... The fact that the results described above have been obtained from very simply-fabricated systems, without the use of any sophisticated set-up and any special attention being given to crystal purity, atomic perfection, lattice matching, etc. suggests that the physical process is a universal one, involving only an interface between a metal and an insulator with a large low-frequency dielectric constant. We note in passing that PZT and the cuprates have similar (perovskite or perovskite-based) crystal structures. This resemblance may provide an added insight into the basic mechanism of high-temperature superconductivity."

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Of course! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33052144)

After reading the summary, everything is plainly obvious...

(walks away slowly before anyone can notice I didn't understand anything)

Re:Of course! (1, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052308)

Exactly so obvious. And you know, it sounds entirely possible it's superconducting, but you know they really won't know if it is or not until they (mumble mumble mumble...)

Actually, I'll just come right out and ask: how is it that this is just "possible?" I understand that they set up a device to measure resistance, and it sounds like its just a very thin layer that is actually superconducting which sounds like it could complicate things, but then it just says there was a "sharp change" in the conductivity. Sounds like their measurements didn't just say "zero resistance." Guessing they were saying the signal was noisy because the layer was so thin?

I know magnets levitate over at least some superconductors, would that not have been another test here?

Re:Of course! (1)

OneAhead (1495535) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052868)

What really cracked me up is that parent is moderated "Insightful".

Well played, Mr. moderator, very well played.

Wait until it has been repeated. (5, Insightful)

BLToday (1777712) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052160)

until the experiment has been repeated by someone else, I'm not holding any hope.

Re:Wait until it has been repeated. (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052176)

I was about to say something similar, but you've expressed it far more concisely (and politely) than I would have.

Re:Wait until it has been repeated. (1)

Codename Dutchess (1782238) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052180)

Absolutely no hope at all?

Re:Wait until it has been repeated. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33052240)

Still hoping for room temperature fusion 20 years and counting ;^) Maybe we can send the energy from that over wires made from these room temperature superconducting materials :S

Re:Wait until it has been repeated. (5, Funny)

vbraga (228124) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052444)

Maybe we could just redefine what room temperature is!

Re:Wait until it has been repeated. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33052802)

There is a job opening at Microsoft you seem like an excellent candidate.

Re:Wait until it has been repeated. (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052472)

I'll settle for fusion that can produce electricity on a commercial scale, room temperature be damned.

Re:Wait until it has been repeated. (3, Funny)

djtachyon (975314) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052256)

Absolute Zero ;)

Re:Wait until it has been repeated. (1, Funny)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052232)

I'll second that!

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33052270)

It sounds extremely plausible to me based on many factors. You are just jealous of their discovery.

Re:Huh? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052388)

You probably said the same thing when cold fusion was announced.

Re:Huh? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052846)

Oooh - now there's a thought. Could we use cold fusion to cause global cooling?

Re:Huh? (1)

Rocky (56404) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052540)

Nice to see that the paper author reads Slashdot :)

Re:Wait until it has been repeated. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33052312)

until the experiment has been repeated by someone else, I'm not holding any hope.

I tend to agree. This falls into the too good to be true category. Simple materials and a fairly straightforward relatively low tech process to make it reeks of cold fusion. Also showing signs of superconductivity has always been a vague statement and rather noncommittal. Saying that crystal purity didn't seem to be a factor also appears questionable since that would normally be critical to achieving superconductivity. It's a little like saying you just made a 100% efficient photovoltaic cell out of plain ole beach sand. Not real likely.

Re:Wait until it has been repeated. (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052806)

You can, if the sand is the eroded remnant fragments of an ancient solar panel. Unrelated: It is highly inadvisable to eat sand with inherent photovoltaic properties. Prob'ly has heavy metals 'n stuff. And it's sand.

Re:Wait until it has been repeated. (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#33053096)

I get that feeling as well. It kind of reminds me about that story about the Indian kid that developed a "revolutionary" new solar panel that will bring cheap electricity to rural India out of human hair.

Re: move along now (2, Insightful)

deglr6328 (150198) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052470)

Uhhhm no, you don't have to wait for replication. All you have to do is move on to the next story and ignore this stupidity. It's a SINGLE AUTHOR PAPER from some dude at the University of North Bengal, which was reported by a laughably sensationalistic pseudoscience mongering blog and regurgitated here by perhaps the dumbest, most credulous editor on /.'s staff: kdawson (who posts trumpet-blaring room temperature superconductivity stories with such regularity that you could probably set your watch by it). Hang your head in shame /.

Re: move along now (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33053032)

But kudos for the ringworld reference

Two weeks old, no citations or trackbacks (2, Insightful)

grimJester (890090) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052516)

It appears no one (but Slashdot) has commented on it in any way yet. I'm reminded of the "Surfer dude stuns physicists with Theory of Everything" headlines that had scientists so stunned they haven't commented on it in three years...

Re:Two weeks old, no citations or trackbacks (3, Interesting)

deglr6328 (150198) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052580)

Lisi's E8 paper has been cited like 17 times. I'd say that's pretty good and hardly constitutes "no scientists commenting on it in 3 years". It's usually a good bet, but overhyped media publicity doesn't ALWAYS automatically mean someone's work is shit. Lisi's theory makes concrete falsifiable predictions for new particles that will either be confirmed or ruled out using the LHC's dataset.

Re:Wait until it has been repeated. (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052568)

This is the perfect material to conduct power generated by cold fusion.

Re:Wait until it has been repeated. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33052600)

Tony Stark did the first experiment in a cave. These guys just repeated it.

I had this sneaky suspicion... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33052174)

it was Bose-Einstein condensation of bipolarons that would allow for room tempurature super conduction.

Re:I had this sneaky suspicion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33052486)

oh, I thought it would require the dangly bit and pocket lint.

...really? (5, Insightful)

linuxgeek64 (1246964) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052192)

Not peer-reviewed and not published = why the fuck is this on Slashdot?!

Re:...really? (4, Funny)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052406)

Didn't you just answer your own question?

Re:...really? (4, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052466)

Not peer-reviewed and not published = why the fuck is this on Slashdot?!

Because ad revenue goes up while everybody discusses how it shouldn't be on Slashdot.

Re:...really? (2, Informative)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 4 years ago | (#33053070)

Actually, with all the ad-blockers, they lose money on every page load. Taco's trying to piss everyone off so they'll leave.

my review... (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052604)

My cursory and inexpert review says that the graphs look extremely inconclusive. I wouldn't hold much hope.

Re:...really? (5, Insightful)

nashv (1479253) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052660)

Because in physics, people have the good sense to let the larger community take a look before these bureaucratic procedures are finished. That is why ArXiv exists,and if Slashdot does its bit, why the hell not?

Re:...really? (1)

Delarth799 (1839672) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052850)

It was peer reviewed and published, in a parallel universe

Random Physics Claims (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33052212)

WTF is /. doing posting claims about superconductivity before such claims are peer reviewed OR EVEN PUBLISHED?!!

Might start my own blog and claim most of the dark matter missing in the universe has aggregated in my wifes dark mood this morning.

I wont even even read this.

This will later be known as... (1, Funny)

magsol (1406749) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052220)

"Unobtanium." James Cameron just beat these researchers to the punch.

Re:This will later be known as... (4, Informative)

ductonius (705942) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052278)

No he didn't.

Re:This will later be known as... (1)

bipbop (1144919) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052520)

The word (and concept) of "unobtainium" goes back to the 50s at least, actually.

Re:This will later be known as... (5, Insightful)

epine (68316) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052764)

The word (and concept) of "unobtainium" goes back to the 50s at least, actually.

If the term "unobtainium" wasn't invented by the early heyday of jet fighter engineering (circa the Korean war), I'll eat my carbon-graphite bike frame.

My understanding is that superconductors have current limits independent of resistive effects (possibly due to magnetic field intensity). How much material you need depends on those exact limits. Even silver could be cheap as dirt if the current density is high enough.

The other thing I've heard is that superconductors are generally discovered by observing related effects, not by measuring conductivity itself.

There also seems to be many people here who have never heard of the black swan effect. You can't prove a black swan doesn't exist by observing a sequence of white swans. There's always a first time. This also applies to the possibility that something important is someday discovered or first published independent of peer review.

That said, there's no point in wearing out your salivary glands unnecessarily, although I've heard it's a common ailment to overdose on visual innuendo of the possibility of doing something you're not actually doing (with dim prospects).

For me qualified engineering porn is when the material is officially characterized in important criteria such as current density limits.

I feel the same way about quantum computing. Still haven't seen a formula which describes the ultimate constraint (or cost) on how many qubits can be stacked together (usually the universe puts limits on salivary endeavours). It would be kind of weird if qubits prove to be as stackable as frictionless pulleys.

Yeah, right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33052222)

Ever notice that we constantly get reports of ground-breaking research out of India, only to never hear about it again? I'm guessing they lie about their research just like they lie about their degrees.

Re:Yeah, right (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052400)

We do? Maybe I haven't been paying attention, but I don't recall any other ground-breaking research coming from India. However, I have heard a lot of fantastic claims from North Korea, like some kind of drink which reverses the aging process.

Re:Yeah, right (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052522)

However, I have heard a lot of fantastic claims from North Korea, like some kind of drink which reverses the aging process.

They've just invented beer? Not terribly impressive, I'd say.

Re:Yeah, right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33052734)

I don't know about research, but when can I get the elusive $35 tablet [yahoo.com] ?

Well, I seem to remember... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052742)

...this ground-breaking [slashdot.org] invention. Granted, it is from Nepal, [geek.com] and not India, but it is close enough.

Re:Well, I seem to remember... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33052776)

Nepal is close enough to India as Mexico is close enough to the United States or the Czech Republic is close enough to Germany.

Re:Well, I seem to remember... (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 4 years ago | (#33053018)

or Israel is close enough to [Egypt | Jordan | Syria | Iran | Iraq]

Room Temperature in UK, maybe not in India? (4, Funny)

billstewart (78916) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052224)

313K is 40C. So this stuff ought to behave just fine in the UK, but only part of the year in India :-) Even in temperate climates, you'd have to be careful not to leave it out in the sun, so again it should be fine in the UK...

Re:Room Temperature in UK, maybe not in India? (5, Funny)

JamesP (688957) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052314)

Reminds me of that joke about scientists in Anchorage discovering a room-temperature superconductor :P

Re:Room Temperature in UK, maybe not in India? (4, Insightful)

RsG (809189) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052420)

This is why we prefer the term "high temperature superconductor" over "room temperature". Superconductivity at 313K, if even possible, is still a damn big deal.

And for a lot of applications, anywhere near ambient temperature is good enough. If the cooling system needed is no more complex than a home AC unit, you've removed the primary drawback/limit on practical superconductors, namely the need for cyrogenic liquids.

Re:Room Temperature in UK, maybe not in India? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052948)

primary drawback/limit on practical superconductors, namely the need for cyrogenic liquids.

And even then, sometimes it's worth the cost of refrigeration, if the current is high enough. The same calculation would be done and push cooled power transmission probably out to the last mile, I'd guess. Certainly any big industrial plant with 3-phase would be signing up.

Re:Room Temperature in UK, maybe not in India? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33052430)

especially considering the London penetration depth

Re:Room Temperature in UK, maybe not in India? (0)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052532)

Is that a dick joke? Or am I just gutter-brained?

Re:Room Temperature in UK, maybe not in India? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33052566)

yes

Re:Room Temperature in UK, maybe not in India? (1)

Jerf (17166) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052910)

This website's HTML is dubious, but it has a chart and discussion of ground temperature [vt.edu] despite the focus on Virginia. Ground temperature tends to be fairly steady about thirty feet below the surface. I don't know what soil temperature would be in India but I suspect it would still be below 100 degrees at that point.

Of course this story is quite likely not true or useful, as other have pointed out. But if we ever do develop room-temperature superconductors, expect them to be buried. Even here in Michigan we'd be running a real risk if we left a ~100 degree superconductor above ground (it only takes one day, even just one second of your superconductor not being a superconductor to ruin your day, and preventively shutting the grid down ruins your day too), but bury it and it'll never warm up. In fact as you get close to "room temperature" you get to the point where every degree is a couple hundred miles further south you can bury the superconductor without having to refrigerate it at all.

Re:Room Temperature in UK, maybe not in India? (1)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 4 years ago | (#33053046)

Actually, buried only a small distance underground and it will work anywhere

Cold Fusion (5, Insightful)

Fartypants (120104) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052226)

This smells of Cold fusion [wikipedia.org] . I was 12 when that scandal erupted and I'm *still* recovering from the disappointment that we hadn't just entered the age of flying cars. This time I think we're better off saving our excitement until the experiment has been repeated.

Re:Cold Fusion (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052558)

Sadly true. Peter Hagelstein keeps writing about this in Analog, but they kept mislabeling his stories as "science fact" instead of as a continuing novella.

Re:Cold Fusion (4, Interesting)

hAckz0r (989977) | more than 4 years ago | (#33053026)

Yes, its best to be sceptical on this one. But I can assure you that Cold Fusion is real, but very hard to reproduce in the Lab and completely working by principals that nobody yet understands. I do work in a Physics Lab, and had the honour of sitting in on a lecture from a well renowned co-worker who explained what we do and do not know about it to date. Its real.

The unfortunate reality is that *because of the scandal*, and under the current political fallout conditions, it is considered professional suicide to even get evolved with it. Any projects you are working on will immediately become unfunded, even those not directly related to Cold Fusion. The politics are a formidable problem with moving the technology forward, and that is not likely to change any time soon. Someday it will no longer be taboo to work on it, but for now don't hold your breath. Bad politics can kill almost any 'good thing' despite the clear benefits it might possess for the future. Right now the only way it will ever move forward is through private funding.

Someone didn't get the memo (-1, Flamebait)

sphealey (2855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052238)

> in _silver_ and aluminum layers deposited on a

Someone didn't get the memo: we need a /cheap/ room temperature superconductor that can be drawn into cable, not something made of silver.

sPh

Re:Someone didn't get the memo (4, Insightful)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052272)

If it superconducts at room temperature, trust me, nobody's going to give a crap what it's made from.

Re:Someone didn't get the memo (2, Funny)

rattaroaz (1491445) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052468)

In that case, we'll just make it out of unobtanium.

Re:Someone didn't get the memo (2, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052624)

Whoever banked on silver will care a great deal. Bauxite is too common for aluminum prices to rise a lot, but another industrial use for silver makes it jump a few. Did any of these researchers invest in metals recently?

Re:Someone didn't get the memo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33052656)

This is from India, so curry *has* to be involved.

Laughter aside the fact is this *IS* from India.. and judging by the poorly trained computer science grads we all work with from India, I highly doubt this is anything to get excited about.

No, not racism, just a statistical perspective based on real world experience and industry standards.

Re:Someone didn't get the memo (3, Insightful)

Eudial (590661) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052304)

Well, silver isn't -that- expensive. Especially when we're just speaking of a layer of the stuff.

Re:Someone didn't get the memo (5, Funny)

thestudio_bob (894258) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052340)

...not something made of silver.

Well, apparently you don't have to deal with electricity stealing Werewolves. I for one, am glad someone is finally addressing this problem.

Re:Someone didn't get the memo (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052410)

Silver IS cheap. They even use it in many solders.

In a superconductor, it wouldn't have to be very thick. Compared to the cost of solid copper wire for the same current, it'd probably be a lot cheaper. Copper isn't all that cheap these days.

Re:Someone didn't get the memo (2, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052524)

Consider that copper is used in nearly everything, while silver has a relatively low demand with a high supply. Then jack up the demand for silver to the levels copper is at, and see where the price really is.

Re:Someone didn't get the memo (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#33053098)

Sure, but even so, 1) the amount of silver you'd need wouldn't be much per foot of wire, and 2) it'd be used for high-value/high-performance applications, not to replace all the wire out there. Of course, this assumes that this is for real; I'm not holding my breath.

Re:Someone didn't get the memo (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#33053002)

But if this replaces coper wire, what will all the crack addicts steal from construction sites?

Re:Someone didn't get the memo (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052696)

I'd easily settle for a room temperature superconductor first, and then worry about mass producing using viable (read cheap) alternative materials later on, no?

The catches (5, Informative)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052264)

There has been a number of fraud reports of high temperature superconductivity, and while there are some confirmed examples of superconductivity at very high temperatures ( like -70C ) they usually involve some microscopic crystal or other structure which is not very useful for most practical applications.

In addition, that something super conducts does not imply it can handle a very large current at high temperatures. The current creates a magnetic field, and superconductors can only work when the magnetic field is less than some fixed value that depends on the material. If I'm not mistaken this value is at its highest when the temperature is very low, and thus it's quite plausible you could get a room temperature superconductor which can't carry any significant current unless cooled to more traditional temperatures.

Re:The catches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33052332)

We have NO use for your logical, well-informed and thoughful replies here my friend! We have room temperature superconductors, this means we can colonize the galaxy tonight!

Re:The catches (3, Informative)

Mad Bad Rabbit (539142) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052372)

Even if it had a low critical current, the alleged room-temperature superconductor would be useful for SQUIDs and Josephson junctions.

Re:The catches (5, Interesting)

bertok (226922) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052736)

Yes, but the small crystals are usually a side-effect of the technique used to find novel superconducting compounds. What some groups do is create polycrystalline lumps where each crystal has a slightly different formula. Then they test resistivity with changing temperature across the whole lot. If just one crystal superconducts, there will be a 'kink' in the graph. This is like a simple brute-force method for testing many samples in parallel, but doesn't necessarily provide a formula that an be produced in bulk.

It's like a mathematical proof that states that something "must exist" without providing an actual value.

Also, superconductors are inherently useful irrespective of the current carrying capacity. For example, Josephson Junctions [wikipedia.org] and RSFQ [wikipedia.org] digital electronics are both very useful and require very low power.

Even a "thin-film" superconductor like the one described in the article would be very useful, as that can be practical for integrated circuitry, even if it's not possible to make a flexible wire out of it.

Balogna (3, Interesting)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052288)

> The surface resistance of the silver-coated samples also shows a sharp change near 313 K.

Pure copper does the exact same thing.

I call bogus.

Maury

Re:Balogna (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33052392)

> The surface resistance of the silver-coated samples also shows a sharp change near 313 K.

Pure copper does the exact same thing.

TFA is a day old, so can we expect to read about your "discovery" tomorrow? [slashdot.org]

Reminds me of Futurama... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33052290)

Yes, I see. Something involving that many big words could easily destabilize time itself!

Too good to be true (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052306)

Cheap materials, cheap process, room temperature......way too good to be true.

Re:Too good to be true (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052990)

That's not the punchline. You're supposed to say "pick two".

The Other Important Question (3, Informative)

BlackGriffen (521856) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052318)

How much current can it carry? Superconductors tend to lose superconductivity in the presence of a large magnetic field, limiting the amount of current they can carry. I don't know if the high Tc superconductors are more susceptible than the regular ones, but it's something to keep in mind.

If they can take a really high magnetic field then that would be really cool for projects like the LHC. A large part of what makes that project dangerous, difficult, and expensive is the large number of He cooled superconducting magnets it needs. The danger comes in when you get a cosmic ray or something that increases the temperature of the magnet so that even a small part loses its superconductivity. When that happens, the non-superconducting part rapidly starts heating up the rest of the magnet in a process called "quenching." The results of a quench can be quite catastrophic.

Persistent currents? (1)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052334)

...exceptionally large room-temperature electrical conductivity...

Ok, that's not the same as identically zero resistance. Regarding their measurements, from TFA:

...measured using a home-built instrumentation amplifier...

A more accurate way of doing this would probably be to see if can it support persistent currents for large timescales. This isn't rocket science -- make a loop of this stuff (shouldn't be hard, since it's a "very simply-fabricated system"), drop a magnet through it, go grab a bite, come back and measure the field strength. (Obviously, take into account any ferromagnetic behavior, and verify that the field strength is due to a current loop.)

joke? (1)

Goldsmith (561202) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052352)

Is this a joke? Did someone put this paper up to smear someone's reputation? There isn't anything close to good data or analysis there. You can't put that out there.

Slashdot shouldn't be looking at this, it's embarrassing.

Meissner effect? (4, Interesting)

AJWM (19027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052396)

Magnetic levitation photos or it didn't happen.

Re:Meissner effect? (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052494)

Magnetic

If they actually achieved that, it would be a miracle.

Re:Meissner effect? (4, Funny)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052594)

Fucking room temperature superconductors, how do they work?

Re:Meissner effect? (1)

TeethWhitener (1625259) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052664)

Answer that and you'll get a Nobel Prize. Heck, you probably only need to answer why superconductors exist above ~100K at all for the Nobel.

Re:Meissner effect? (0, Troll)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052926)

Answer that and you'll get a Nobel Prize.

Meh. To get a Nobel prize one merely has to be elected as President of the United States. The bar has been lowered somewhat, of late.

Bengal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33052482)

I hate to say it, but let's wait a tad for confirmation. Indian institutions have had a tendency in the past to, let's say: exaggerate their achievements....

If reproduced, it'll be a great win. But I remain skeptical.

BS (1)

Dthief (1700318) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052492)

the "kink" that supports superconductivity does not look like an actual kink.....I dont know how they decided to fit their data but dartboard springs to mind

uh (1)

pinkeen (1804300) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052496)

I skimmed TFA and from what I understand (and I don't understand much to be true) they merely suppose there is "super conduction phase" within this material based on some observations (sharp change in resistance(temp) function or something [not measured directly?]). Neither they directly observed superconductivity, nor they claim so. They state that their conclusion is true assuming that some theory is true ("The data have been interpreted in the framework of above model", which probably isn't yet confirmed).

I'd say that this article is far from stating that room-temperature superconductor of any kind has been found. No breakthrough here.

Superconductivity Breakthrough! (3, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052554)

The report is of a possible superconducting effect at ambient room temperatures.

Amazing! Simply ama...

Here is the paper on the ArXiv.

... Oh.

I want to invest!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33052564)

Where do I mail the cash??? ;-)

Extraordinary claims require evidence. (5, Informative)

dr. loser (238229) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052774)

I'm a condensed matter physicist. This claim is weak beyond belief, and it pains me to no end to see it get picked up by slashdot and other sites (nextbigfuture.com). To demonstrate superconductivity, you need to show (a) zero resistance over some range of current; (b) the Meissner effect (expulsion of magnetic flux, seen via magnetometry); (c) a characteristic feature of a phase transition in the heat capacity. This paper shows exactly none of these things. The noise level in the resistance measurements is so poor, you could not tell the difference between zero and 0.01 Ohms (which would be totally believable considering there is already a metal film in the system). This paper in its present form is not fit for publication. Seriously, you don't have to be an expert at this stuff to see that this is weak - just look at the noise level in the current-voltage curves and use some common sense!

Re:Extraordinary claims require evidence. (1)

bertok (226922) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052824)

Also, they're using a piezoelectric substrate, so there might be resonance effects going on. For example, the sample will shrink as it's cooled, and might go through a size where it exactly resonates with the 20Hz sampling signal they were using.

Re:Extraordinary claims require evidence. (2, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052892)

Seriously, you don't have to be an expert at this stuff to see that this is weak

      Uh, yeah you do. I consider myself to be pretty smart, what with the 160 IQ and the medical degree and all. But superconductors just aren't my field. Put a bunch of words together that don't trigger alarm bells and sound plausible, and I'm a believer. Perhaps you need to take a look in the mirror and realize that you know more about this stuff than the average person. You are certainly more of an expert than I am :)

Not single comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33052804)

talking about the contents of the paper! Seems like the "quantum theorists" and web coders who roam around on ./ can't decode real physics, but sure can come with lame comments.

Silent electric motors? (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052810)

Can we make electric motors with zero friction if we had RTSCs? It would seem that even the best of electric motors need bearings support the main rotating mechanism.

It would amazing to have giant 5 metre size motors that were completely silent.

just what I've been missing (1)

MikeyO (99577) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052908)

I'm going to use some of this superconductor in my perpetual motion machine that feeds the cold fusion reactor I'm planning.

But not in the EU (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#33052976)

deposited on a lead zirconate titanate

Sorry. That violates RoHS regulations.

Room-temperature superconductors six years ago... (2, Interesting)

KonoWatakushi (910213) | more than 4 years ago | (#33053092)

There was also a discovery of a superconducting phase formed at the surface of an N-type diamond substrate six years ago. Since then, Johan Prins has managed to get one paper published in a semiconductor journal, but this work has been almost completely ignored by the scientific community. More disturbingly, to my knowledge, is that there has been no effort to duplicate this astonishing result, nor a single challenge of the experimental method or physics contained within the paper.

The observed behavior is clearly at odds with the presently accepted superconducting theory, and should be welcomed by any open-minded scientist, or at the very least refuted. The accepted theory not only doesn't fit the data for Type-II superconductors, it is useless in practice, and offers no real insight into the physical phenomenon.

Since then, he has postulated a new theory of superconductivity, and a new interpretation* of quantum mechanics, both of which look very reasonable from what I have seen. What is more, his theory accurately models both types of superconductors with the same physics, and is useful enough to engineer new superconductors. If the theory does fit the existing data more accurately, this certainly deserves further investigation.

Though I haven't been able to track down his book, there are chapters of his current and upcoming books here [cathodixx.com] . They at least give insight into his ideas. My crude understanding follows, and I look forward to the completed book.

The fundamental idea, is that the the wave equation is not a probability distribution of a point particle, but a harmonic wave which represents the mass distribution of the particle, the complex part of which is actually another dimension. There are no particles, only waves, and all are subject to appropriate boundary conditions. The extra dimension also provides a pair of entangled "particles" a mechanism for action at a distance--they are in reality a single wave. Photons are waves without mass, and may entangle with an electron, imparting energy in the process. An interesting point, is that in Kaluza-Klein theory, Einstein's field equations and Maxwell's equations fall out of general relativity, simply by assuming an extra dimension.

Anyway, as applied to his superconducting discovery, the electrons actually entangle into a single electron wave, and form what he calls an array of orbitals. It is a purely electronic Bose-Einstein condensate, which is stable at room temperature, and where charge moves not by some convoluted electron-pair and phonon interaction, but by a quantum effect, in what is otherwise essentially an insulator. This same array is asserted to form within metals, or within the ceramic superconductors between layers, where there are sufficient donor atoms. All that is required is for the right density of orbitals to form and entangle, and that charge carriers be anchored somewhere, so that they can not undergo acceleration and collisions. (Which is why the best conductors do not superconduct.)

* the currently accepted interpretation of quantum mechanics is unsatisfying to say the least. The math is useful, but who really believes that wave-particle duality and the statistical interpretation are not a mere mathematical construct, but the foundation of reality? Never once did I believe that, nor did Einstein or Schrödinger, and it is disturbing that people would so easily accept it as fact.

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