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Canadian Scientists Bind High-Temp Superconductor Components With Scotch Tape

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the move-over-duct-tape dept.

Canada 97

First time accepted submitter halightw writes "Scotch tape really can fix anything according to a new study where it was used to induce super conductivity by taping two pieces of material together. A "proximity effect" occurs when a superconducting material is able to induce superconducting behavior in a second material — a semiconductor that does not typically enjoy superconductivity." All that and X-rays, too. Related: An anonymous reader writes "Scientist at University of Leipzig in Germany claim to have measured room-temperature superconducting in specially treated graphite grains. The measurements were reproduced independently before the announcement was made. More tests need to be done to verify the extent of superconductivity and whether the effect can be extended and scaled to be practical."

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97 comments

Sometimes (2, Interesting)

symes (835608) | about 2 years ago | (#41324571)

Just because they might be at the cutting edge of scientific progress does not mean common household goods, that were once thought of as perhaps as innovative as superconductivity, cannot be useful. Maybe I am stretching things in this case, perhaps they should have used duct tape. Anyhow, there must be other examples of this kind of thing?

Re:Sometimes (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41324699)

I remember the 2010 Nobel prize winners in physics also used scotch tape to produce graphene, by peeling layers of carbon off of graphite:
http://motherboard.vice.com/2010/10/7/physics-nobel-prize-winners-secret-scotch-tape--2

Re:Sometimes (2)

ryzvonusef (1151717) | about 2 years ago | (#41325933)

Indeed.

Here is a youtube video that explains this in simple terms:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PifL8bAybyc [youtube.com]

Re:Sometimes (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 2 years ago | (#41326315)

Purly from a Multiverse point of view, wouldn't the use of Duct Tape be a more symbolic gesture?

Re:Sometimes (2)

only_human (761334) | about 2 years ago | (#41328033)

And peeling scotch tape in vacuum can release X-rays.

Re:Sometimes (5, Funny)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#41324701)

The glass slides in the experiment contained silica, the same common material in sand across the globe.

There hasn't been any press release yet, but I suspect the scientist's underwear was made of cotton. That's right, the age-old textile material cotton has now found new use in the field of scientific research!

Also, we're still waiting on confirmation that the building's electrical wiring contained copper, but there is speculation that it may have been contaminated by other metals, complicating the analysis.

Re:Sometimes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41325677)

Did anyone else think "Tool Time" when they saw the picture of Ken Burch in the article?

Re:Sometimes (1)

trancemission (823050) | about 2 years ago | (#41326083)

Your UID is way too high..

I only clicked on this story looking for funny comments - thank you.

Re:Sometimes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41326779)

Man... I thought you were doing some murder investigation, trying to draw connections between things, and saying "Coincidence? I think not!"

Re:Sometimes (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#41327035)

I posted a comment about mundane items being used in scientific research. Murder often involves mundane objects being used to kill someone. Coincidence? I think not!

Re:Sometimes (5, Funny)

virgnarus (1949790) | about 2 years ago | (#41324893)

Maybe I am stretching things in this case, perhaps they should have used duct tape.

Looks like a job for the Possum Lodge Institute of Science and Technology.

Re:Sometimes (2)

bobcat7677 (561727) | about 2 years ago | (#41325161)

The Possum Lodge Institute of Science and Technology would upgrade the super conductor to handle more current and be DIY by using Duct Tape and lantern batteries. http://periodictable.com/Stories/006.2/index.html [periodictable.com]

I can visualize Red Green demonstrating the project as I type this. Sure miss that show...

Re:Sometimes (2)

NIK282000 (737852) | about 2 years ago | (#41326677)

If the women don't find you handsome, they can at least find your scientific research to be be ground breaking!

Re:Sometimes (1)

INT_QRK (1043164) | about 2 years ago | (#41325071)

Just think of what they could have done duct tape!

Irrelevant headline (5, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#41324615)

So the really interesting part of this story - that superconductivity can be induced in high-temperature materials that haven't been grown in proximity - is completely overshadowed by the tape that held the experiment together?

Fuck journalism.

Re:Irrelevant headline (3, Interesting)

Meshach (578918) | about 2 years ago | (#41324661)

So the really interesting part of this story - that superconductivity can be induced in high-temperature materials that haven't been grown in proximity - is completely overshadowed by the tape that held the experiment together?

Fuck journalism.

You must be new here...

Re:Irrelevant headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41325297)

If we want to up the quality of accepted stories/summaries, we have to push back against such mediocrity.

Re:Irrelevant headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41324695)

So the really interesting part of this story - that superconductivity can be induced in high-temperature materials that haven't been grown in proximity - is completely overshadowed by the tape that held the experiment together?

Fuck journalism.

Journalism? Where have you been? The media tossed journalism out the window several years ago. Our kids are growing up without knowing what true journalism really is.

Re:Irrelevant headline (2)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 years ago | (#41324773)

You are very right. A superconductor that's workable on a large scale would probably tip power infrastructure globally towards electricity. Imagine a few hundred square miles of wind turbines in West Texas providing clean, affordable energy in California.

Re:Irrelevant headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41325061)

Oh yes, imagine..... I might be some time. Carry on.......

Re:Irrelevant headline (1)

amorsen (7485) | about 2 years ago | (#41326751)

You can transport electricity with HVDC for thousands of km while losing less than 10%. Getting the last 10% back would obviously be nice, but it will not be a revolution.

Re:Irrelevant headline (1)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | about 2 years ago | (#41332985)

Especially if your transmission capitol cost go up an order of magnitude, it may well be cheaper to just live with the 10% lose (is it really that high?). Electric motors and generators are in the same boat. They are already in the 90%+ range. Power density would be a bonus.

However magnetic energy storage would have quite an impact.

Re:Irrelevant headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41324805)

Eh? Where you getting that from? Both are as equally important in the piece.

The fact Scotch tape helped bind it was pretty important since the stuff appears to be some sort of turbo-magicks sent to us from the heavens or something, and the fact that we may have just cracked useful high-temperature superconductivity as well is pretty important.
It is a dual-summary for crying out loud. What more do you want?! HUH?! DO YOU WANT THE SOURCE CODE TO THE UNIVERSE NOW?!

Still, if that really is expanded on and it works, holy crap, this is earlier than it should be. I need to talk to some people. Someone is fiddling with time.

Re:Irrelevant headline (4, Insightful)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about 2 years ago | (#41327231)

HUH?! DO YOU WANT THE SOURCE CODE TO THE UNIVERSE NOW?!

As a physicist by training, yes, that's exactly what I want.

Re:Irrelevant headline (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 2 years ago | (#41327907)

Eh, the documentation is even shittier than Linux's, if you can believe it.

Plus, every five lines there's a TODO comment.

Re:Irrelevant headline (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about 2 years ago | (#41330669)

The problem as far as I can see it is that a gravity/time module written in an entirely different language has been hacked together with a system that uses variable variables for everything. The inflation plugin looks like it was jammed into the header file at the last moment, and the hardware requirements for the singularity class methods is just stupid.

Don't get me started on the fact that 94% of the source is logic-sensitive whitespace.

Re:Irrelevant headline (5, Interesting)

BMOC (2478408) | about 2 years ago | (#41324895)

So the really interesting part of this story - that superconductivity can be induced in high-temperature materials that haven't been grown in proximity - is completely overshadowed by the tape that held the experiment together?

Fuck journalism.

I think you mean... that superconductivity can be induced at high-temperatures in materials that haven't been grown in proximity... And yes I find that far more interesting than using tape to accomplish it. Generally superconductivity dislikes material boundaries. This is why crystal grain boundaries (paradoxically) help control superconductivity in thin-film YBCO and similar high-temp materials by preventing eddy vorticies from interfering with flow. I had no idea you could induce superconductivity in a different crystal through proximity. in fact all of the knowledge I have on the subject (I did my graduate thesis on YBCO thin films) tells me it shouldn't be possible.

Re:Irrelevant headline (4, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#41325127)

That is what I meant. That sentence was mangled several times while revising, and apparently I posted a few revisions too early.

Technology-wise, this is an interesting discovery. It would have been equally interesting had the scientist used fly paper or chewing gum to hold the semiconductors together. Once upon a time, this site claimed to offer "news for nerds"... let's not water down the nerdy science with the lowest-common-denominator amazement that versatile materials have many uses.

Re:Irrelevant headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41325351)

Proximity effects inducing superconductivity have been studied for at least 50 years I think. I haven't seen much about it as a route toward high temperature superconductivity (superconductivity isn't the field I ended up in), although I've see occasional mentions of using the method to explore various quantum material effects by inducing superconductivity in various other materials, like semiconductors, and creating new types of junctions. I think Physics Today very recently mentioned such work being used to look for Majorana fermions.

Re:Irrelevant headline (2)

BMOC (2478408) | about 2 years ago | (#41325459)

How do you induce superconductivity with a proximity effect? My understanding of the phenomenon is that it is basically a specific quantum state allowed to electrons that directly depends on crystal structure (hence the temperature dependence). This is not unlike semiconductors where we rely on a manipulated band-gap to effect alterations in the conductive properties. More interestingly, superconductivity generally doesn't exist where magnetic fields do (there are macroscopic exceptions, but physically when you get to the quantum-level that is the case). So if you put a superconductor next to any old material that can contain a magnetic field, you're essentially expelling all magnetic field into that other material. That presence should negate the ability to generate superconductivity in the other material, right?

So yeah, I'm really curious how you can induce superconductivity in another directly adjacent material that is not normally a superconductor. Or am I just reading something wrong?

Re:Irrelevant headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41326763)

My understanding of it is that a Cooper pair can penetrate some difference into the adjacent material before breaking up from scattering. Using a ferromagnetic material next to a superconductor does reduce superconducting effects due to magnetism in some cases, although I think there are special cases where it can help due to some weird selection/interaction of states, although that gets into beyond what I've kept up to date on. A lot of that research gets into spin currents since the boundary and current state of the superconductor can affect what spins can cross the boundary. It seems to come back to the idea of messing with energy gaps of states in the two materials, with each one affecting the other to some distance, sometimes much further than naively expected.

Re:Irrelevant headline (2)

TheMathemagician (2515102) | about 2 years ago | (#41324905)

Real journalism is expensive and no-one is willing to pay for news these days.

Re:Irrelevant headline (1)

malloc (30902) | about 2 years ago | (#41324911)

That, and what's with "a Canadian dude did this, lets put a Canada logo on this story" instead of "oh, a technology story, lets put a tech logo".

Unless I just uncovered the fallback plan: if it doesn't work out then Blame Canada!

Re:Irrelevant headline (1)

techsimian (2555762) | about 2 years ago | (#41325963)

Ooo Oooo OOOO, new tag: #Canuckistan

BlameCanada is so 20th century.

Re:Irrelevant headline (1)

renoX (11677) | about 2 years ago | (#41328003)

> So the really interesting part of this story - that superconductivity can be induced in high-temperature materials that haven't been grown in proximity - is completely overshadowed by the tape that held the experiment together?

If this result held, yes this is big news, but I remember of the "high temperature superconductivity fashion": quite a few of these experiment reported success but could not be reproduced: measuring supercondictivity is *hard*.
So I'll wait until it is properly reproduced and measured before believing that this is real.

Enjoy (1)

Ashenkase (2008188) | about 2 years ago | (#41324637)

I "enjoy superconductivity" and all of its memes.

As opposed to? (-1, Flamebait)

wiedzmin (1269816) | about 2 years ago | (#41324641)

So, just because they're researches, should they have applied for a government grant to invent some exuberant, overpriced, adhesive tape to be used in that particular experiment exclusively? Sorry, there's no NASA in Canada.

Re:As opposed to? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41324697)

ikr they just used the best readily available tool for the job wtf

Re:As opposed to? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#41324875)

So, just because they're researches, should they have applied for a government grant to invent some exuberant, overpriced, adhesive tape to be used in that particular experiment exclusively?

This is Canada, we need to be more cost effective and responsible with tax-payer money. Your options are scotch tape, beer, Tim Horton's coffee, moose droppings, and snow -- and in most of the country, the snow is only actually about 4 months of the year contrary to popular belief.

Sorry, there's no NASA in Canada.

Well, we have the CSA [asc-csa.gc.ca] -- they kinda helped make the robotic arm in the shuttle and other things. It's not like we aren't involved in these things.

Re:As opposed to? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#41325023)

Sorry, there's no NASA in Canada.

Well, we have the CSA [asc-csa.gc.ca] -- they kinda helped make the robotic arm in the shuttle and other things. It's not like we aren't involved in these things.

Huh, and here I was thinking they called it the "Canada arm" 'cuz it sits on top and does relatively nothing...


Just messing with ya, canucks, no hard feelings!

Re:As opposed to? (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#41325073)

Just messing with ya, canucks, no hard feelings!

No worries ... we don't really use moose droppings in (much) scientific research either. ;-)

Re:As opposed to? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41325321)

Just messing with ya, canucks, no hard feelings!

No worries ... we don't really use moose droppings in (much) scientific research either. ;-)

Speak for your self buddy!

Re:As opposed to? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#41325995)

Just messing with ya, canucks, no hard feelings!

No worries ... we don't really use moose droppings in (much) scientific research either, eh. ;-)

FTFY, lol

Re:As opposed to? (1)

wiedzmin (1269816) | about 2 years ago | (#41367757)

I think Mythbusters tried to polish one at some point.

Re:As opposed to? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41325471)

Scotch tape and other ones typically seen around office supplies are pretty crappy tapes. They might be good for holding paper together that you want to gently take apart again, but even frequently fail at that. For not that much more, you can order tapes that are much stronger, or better at being removed, or even combinations like tapes that handle shear well, but pop right off when needed. Saying the researchers can use generic tape like that is more a statement of how robust the process they are dealing with is, that it works even in "rough" conditions. Some of us other researchers don't invent our own tape, but still stuck using slightly harder to find varieties. I'm a bit partial to Kapton tape, that is like duct tape for those of us working in vacuums.

Re:As opposed to? (1)

Mycroft_VIII (572950) | about 2 years ago | (#41330009)

http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/default.asp

2nd Summary (4, Insightful)

Bigby (659157) | about 2 years ago | (#41324643)

Is it just me or is the 2nd summary deserving of its own post? A room temperature superconductor, if found and practical/abundant, would be one of the greatest discoveries in science.

Re:2nd Summary (2)

Billy the Mountain (225541) | about 2 years ago | (#41324727)

Yep, totally agree. the scotch tape superconductivity is helping superconductivity work at 80 Kelvin. The Carbon soaked in water, then dried is superconducting at 300 fucking kelvin. No scotch tape required! The cool thing about this is, if true, you could verify it in your kitchen.

Re:2nd Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41324937)

And 2 interesting results there. One is, it dried out and was superconductive. And two when crushed together it went away. Meaning you can get superconductivity from either arrangement of simple carbon or some sort of doping happening. That puts it in the realm of superconductivity on a silicon chip which means the clock wars would be back on and fans would be gone. Even superconductive LED's would be interesting... This is huge if true. Cant wait for reproduction. Hopefully true...

Re:2nd Summary (2)

Khyber (864651) | about 2 years ago | (#41325167)

I don't think we'd want LEDs that are superconducting. That might lead to very little light emission as we need the power to be lost to electron holes to generate photons. What we'd ideally want are LEDs that are better at converting energy into light. Superconductivity seems counter-intuitive to that.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but since we've never had superconducting LEDs, we don't know how they'd react.

Now super-conducting diodes, those would be awesome. Much better control of power flow. Could we even build a superconducting diode, given its nature?

Re:2nd Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41326505)

I was talking about removing the heat from them. As it is the #1 kill of most of them...

Re:2nd Summary (1)

Khyber (864651) | about 2 years ago | (#41329133)

Nah, bad power supplies kill them in my experience of designing and selling LED units.

Re:2nd Summary (3, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 2 years ago | (#41324989)

The cool thing about this is, if true, you could verify it in your kitchen.

Not really, the superconductive spots are tiny, far too tiny to actually measure resistance across. The researchers are claiming superconductivity based on magnetic effects, which while very interesting, isn't exactly something you'd do in your kitchen.

Re:2nd Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41325531)

the superconductive spots are tiny, far too tiny to actually measure resistance across.

So let's scotch-tape them together!

Re:2nd Summary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41324743)

We only have separate posts when it is a political flame bait topic. For science stuff, just jamming it all together is enough, because it isn't like this is a news for nerds site any more.

Re:2nd Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41324849)

Yeah, these really ought to be separate, although the room temp paper is barely the first step in the direction of practicality. They have observed only one of the three signs of superconductivity (in particular, they haven't been able to measure the resistance yet), and the carbon itself does not appear to be the superconductor, but the surface of the carbon grains, making it extremely fragile, and thus hard to make measurements of.

Hopefully they can figure out what is going on here and engineer a more robust material that uses the same principle...

Re:2nd Summary (5, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 2 years ago | (#41324971)

Well, the high temp super conductor research is extremely speculative and not at all practical. Thats not to say it isn't interesting and doesn't raise interesting questions, it is and it does.

The first problem is the practicality. The superconductivity they are reporting happens where two tiny grains of graphite meet (the soaking and baking part is, essentially, just to get them to meet in the right way, though I suppose trapped water molecules could also play a roll). Disturbing that interface destroys the superconductivity. There's no way to wire two points together using this effect, which makes it essentially useless from a practicality standpoint.

Which leads directly to the research's speculative nature. They can't wire two points together (not even tiny, tiny lengths) so there's no way to actually measure the resistance. They are claiming superconductivity based on an observed phase transition in magnetic properties when a field is applied. The transition they see is consistent with superconductivity, but most people wouldn't call it a silver bullet, "yes we are absolutely sure" kind of evidence. It could be some other effect we don't know about, in which case - NEATO! something new to study, or it could be superconductivity, in which case - NEATO! we've proved room temperature superconductors are empirically possible, we have an example to study which might pave the way.

Re:2nd Summary (2)

ChrisMaple (607946) | about 2 years ago | (#41325177)

A path from this to practical room temperature superconductivity, though speculative, is obvious. Fuse buckytubes every hundred atoms or so. Anneal in hydrogen or water or whatever. The fusing holds the tubes in a fixed spatial relation, and where they touch between fused points superconductivity occurs. Braid the stuff together in long ropes, and "Voila!" superconducting wire.

Re:2nd Summary (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 2 years ago | (#41325307)

Your buckyball still isn't superconducting, just the regions where the two buckyballs are interfacing. So the route has to go through a research phase where we figure out what is so special about the interface between the two, then another research phase to determine if it's physically possible to string those regions together in a way that produces superconductivity over a usable distance. Then another phase where we try to figure out how actually construct the design we came up with in the last time.

Yes, very interesting potentially earth changing in fact. But highly, highly speculative.

Re:2nd Summary (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 2 years ago | (#41325843)

This is Slashdot. Logic and reason have no place in speculative discussions about the future here!

You are right that it's *highly* speculative... but it's still pretty cool to consider... most of the time when we talk about "high temperature supeconductors", we're still talking about -70'C or colder. Some ceramics have limited superconductivity at temperatures of -50'C... to my (limited) knowledge, this is the first time anybody's observed superconductivity anywhere near room temperature. Of course geeks are going to start waxing poetic about the potential applications of such a discovery. :)

Re:2nd Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41327339)

-50 C is getting damn close to liquid propane temperatures, which could be interesting for automotive applications (e.g. superconducting-field motors for LPG-fuel hybrids).

Re:2nd Summary (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 2 years ago | (#41328169)

You can get superconductivity at room temperature by varying other parameters too (generally to levels that are even harder to create/maintain than low temperature). I seem to remember an article on slashdot a couple years ago discussing room temperature superconductivity, only problem it required the material to be under several hundred thousand atmospheres of pressure.

Maybe something similar is happening here... the evaporating water causing suction at nanoscopic scales that nevertheless applies enormous amounts of force to a tiny, tiny area.

Re:2nd Summary (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 2 years ago | (#41326701)

If there was a headline "Canadian Scientists invent room temperature superconductor" everyone would just think it was a joke.

(Well I did once hear a similar joke "researchers in Fairbanks, Alaska invent...

Re:2nd Summary (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 2 years ago | (#41327569)

Yes, it does deserve an article for itself.

But room tempereature superconducting in graphite have been observed before, several times. Always with a very low signal to noise, but I guess the cheer number of observations is enough to hint that there is something there. It happens on several experimental setups, with several different arrangements of crystals, and nobody is able to point exactly what is superconducting, or how. That article is yet another step into understanding the phenomenum.

If'n'ain't Scawtch ... (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 2 years ago | (#41324681)

It's crrrrrrrrap! A'not super-cunduhtivativity 'nuff ta-boot!

Re:If'n'ain't Scawtch ... (1)

albacrankie (1017430) | about 2 years ago | (#41324813)

It's called fucking Sellotape ya yank-sassenach fannybaws! (At least that's what my mum calls it.)

Re:If'n'ain't Scawtch ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#41324963)

It's called fucking Sellotape ya yank-sassenach fannybaws! (At least that's what my mum calls it.)

Wow, that's a lot to say every time ... "Oi! Laddie, get me the fucking Sellotape ya yank-sassenach fannybaws!"

Actually, never mind -- I think I've heard one of my Scottish friends say something like that before. ;-)

Re:If'n'ain't Scawtch ... (2)

albacrankie (1017430) | about 2 years ago | (#41325473)

" I think I've heard one of my Scottish friends say something like that before"

You know my mum? :-) She thought it was poetic. (from Robert F. Burns, I believe)

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane
In proving foresight may be vain
The best laid schemes o' Mice and Men
Gang aft a-glape
An lea'e us nought tae fix the pain
But fucking sellotape

Re:If'n'ain't Scawtch ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#41325795)

Still thou are blest, compared wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!

Ahh, gotta love Rabbie Burns.

Re:If'n'ain't Scawtch ... (1)

iplayfast (166447) | about 2 years ago | (#41326003)

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane
In proving foresight may be vain
The best laid schemes o' Mice and Men
Gang aft a-glape
An lea'e us nought tae fix the pain
But fucking sellotape ya yank-sassenach fannybaws!

There fixed it.

Re:If'n'ain't Scawtch ... (1)

albacrankie (1017430) | about 2 years ago | (#41326767)

I bow to your command of the alban pentameter. It scans like a belter.

Sincere apologies for my earlier outburst if it was felt to be offensive. I have a thing about sellotape, being a strong believer in fixing things with string.

On the other hand, terms such as "laddie" and "Rabbie", although mildly offensive, are really pathetic. Their use should be moderated, preferably with the controlling qualities of alcohol.

Re:If'n'ain't Scawtch ... (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 2 years ago | (#41327971)

[slow clap]

Hot date (5, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | about 2 years ago | (#41324707)

a semiconductor that does not typically enjoy superconductivity.

I didn't know semiconductors have fun.

Re:Hot date (0)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 2 years ago | (#41325323)

Enjoy - 4. Possess and benefit from

[/pedantry]

Re:Hot date (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 2 years ago | (#41327405)

a semiconductor that does not typically enjoy superconductivity.

I didn't know semiconductors have fun.

They do... but not as much fun as full time conductors.

Scotch tape... (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#41324709)

Is there nothing you can't do...?

Imagine.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41324711)

.. What happens when the step up to duct tape!

Shiny side out for improved superconductivity!

If Scotch Tape helps out with this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41324739)

Does that mean Duct tape could somehow very well unlock hyperdrive technology?

Then it is true... (1)

filmorris (2466940) | about 2 years ago | (#41324825)

Duct tape is like the Force, it has a dark side, a light side, and it binds the universe together.

In other news (5, Funny)

AwesomeMcgee (2437070) | about 2 years ago | (#41324833)

Next up, Fision created with baking soda, and nobel prize winning physicists use tetris to complete the standard model.

really, really want... (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 2 years ago | (#41325001)

...room-temperature superconductivity to be true. But this just feels an awful lot like polywater, cold fusion and the like -- something that would be amazingly cool, but has ambiguous or conflicting or incomplete evidence, and disappears when you look at it crosswise.

I sure hope it pans out. Cold fusion didn't (so far), but high-temp superconductivity (liquid-nitrogen temps) certainly did.

Re:really, really want... (4, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#41325099)

Don't hold your breath. There are three phenomena associated with superconductivity: zero resistance, the Meissner effect, and a superconducting phase transition. Only the last one has been observed so far in the graphite-based superconductor. But it's my understanding that it's only the first two that are practically useful. Either of the first two effects observed on a macroscopic level at room temperatures or above, and that is tractable to scale, would be utterly revolutionary, and the long-term impact on industrialized society would likely be beyond anything we've yet conceived.

But yeah... I wouldn't hold my breath on this.

Team finds inpsiration from Canada's handyman (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41325039)

And it's not Mike Holmes...

http://mrwriteon.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/rgreen.jpg

Duct tape is better (1)

mynameiskhan (2689067) | about 2 years ago | (#41325089)

"Scotch tape can really fix anything" - False. "Duct tape - Fixes America and broken hearts" - True

scotch tape fixes nothing (1)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | about 2 years ago | (#41325491)

Who said scotch tape can fix anything?! DUCT tape fixes anything. All scotch tape is good for is making quick hand-written labels that come off easily

Amazing! (2)

tool462 (677306) | about 2 years ago | (#41325515)

Scotch tape! The greatest invention since this inanimate carbon rod!
*scientist turns off TV in disgust*
"Aww, Dad! They were going to show some close-ups of the tape!"

Who cares about scotch tape? (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 2 years ago | (#41325555)

Scotch tape is like announcing invention of the vacuum tube while story on the very next page is dedicated to rollout of sub-nm process.

Finding evidence room temperature superconductivity is even possible is huge... I hope Mattel is taking notes... some of us are still waiting for our hoverboards!!

Don't forget the (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | about 2 years ago | (#41325731)

WD-40.

Re:Don't forget the (2)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 2 years ago | (#41325845)

Essential tools:

Duct Tape - For when something moves and shouldn't
WD-40 - For when something should move and won't
Hammer - For everything else

Re:Don't forget the (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 2 years ago | (#41326427)

No, the hammer is for crushing nuts with.

Beer is for everything else. Or hard cider. Both are excellent lubricants too.

The abstract on the work from Leipzig (3, Informative)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 2 years ago | (#41325821)

Here is the abstract [uni-leipzig.de] from the work done in Leipzig. Also if you happen to have access to Wiley Online Library or Wiley InterScience you can read the full publication here [wiley.com] , I don't so I am not sure if that gets you all the way there or not.

Re:The abstract on the work from Leipzig (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41326973)

Yep, that goes directly to the PDF. Thanks!

This is the sort of news for Nerds that I like (1)

iplayfast (166447) | about 2 years ago | (#41325987)

I'd rather news of scientific discovery and really cool stuff, then news about patents, frauds, etc ad nausium.
This kind of news is why I still visit slashdot!

So, basically, lead pencil supercomputing? (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 2 years ago | (#41326419)

So, in other words, they shredded some pencil leads on scotch tape and called it superconducting at room temperature?

Not really about tape, about interfaces (1)

dsgrntlxmply (610492) | about 2 years ago | (#41326753)

Interfacial effects in electronic materials are interesting.

Alves et al reported [Nature Materials 7, 574 (2008)] high conductivity (metallic-like, not superconductive) at a junction obtained by simply placing the faces of thin crystals of two very poor organic conductors (TTF and TCNQ) into contact and allowing the crystals to self-laminate.

Interesting questions arise, including whether the conductivity is nearly 2-dimensional rather than fully 3-dimensional.

I tried to investigate this in an undergrad project, but a number of technical difficulties could not be surmounted within the available time and resources.

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