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Scientists Create New Form of Matter

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the doesn't-really-matter dept.

Science 448

soren100 writes "Yahoo News has a story about scientists creating a sixth form of matter. They are calling their new state of matter a 'fermionic condensate.' Somehow they got potassium atoms to form pairs similar to the 'Cooper pairs' that make superconducting possible. Maybe any quantum physicists around can tell us more about this, but it certainly sounds pretty revolutionary. The scientists are predicting that this will lead to 'room temperature solid' superconductors, which in turn will enable us to have better electricity generators, more efficient electric motors, and (our favorite) cheaper maglev trains."

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448 comments

American Scientific Dominance (-1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122131)

Why can't the EUians create anything? Probably because socialists don't create, they just take.

Re:American Scientific Dominance (0, Offtopic)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122163)

EUians created the US, the US is about to create a computer that'll create instead of them and thus form another derivated world...
This computer will create some carbonated circuits which will create living beings which will be dumped to another planet where the living beings will evolve into EUians... etc.

Re:American Scientific Dominance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122194)

hahaha the EU invented almost everything.

EU (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122239)

EU is old and dying.

The last glowing embers of the scientific genius and political and economical power will soon be put out by the socialist groupthink that wants to make everyone average.

I know. I'm European. I can't wait until I'm finished with my studies and can move across the Atlantic. Believe me, I won't be looking back.

Re:EU (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122299)

You won't be missed.

Re:EU (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122369)

I know. I'm European. I can't wait until I'm finished with my studies and can move across the Atlantic. Believe me, I won't be looking back.

Please, hurry up. Exporting idiots to the US can only help our cause.

Re:American Scientific Dominance (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122274)

If by "everything" you mean "every modern method for committing genocide" and "every modern method for running a horrific, totalitarian government" you have a point.

FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122132)

FP!

Re:FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122143)

No, this is the first post. You are dumb.

Hooray! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122134)

"Plans to build a controversial centre for experiments on monkeys have been shelved [bbc.co.uk] by Cambridge University.

It has decided the costs, including measures needed to protect the facility from animal rights militants, would make the laboratory uneconomic."

I am pleasantly surprised to note that people can still make a moral choice.

Re:Hooray! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122152)

Nothing moral about it. As you wrote, it just wasn't economic.

Re:Hooray! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122169)

I was talking about the militants the threat of which brought this research down. It's a moral choice to rather break the law than accept experimentation on sentient beings.

Animal experiments (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122201)

All the drugs, food supplements and practically anything that people digest, wear or spread on their skin has been tested on animals.

You militant assholes should refuse medical help when the cops beat you up next time.

Re:Hooray! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122244)

We don't like hippies around here. Only sodomists, closet homosexuals and Communists.

Sentient? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122249)

How do you know an animal is sentient?

Does a rock or a vegetable answer you when you ask it a question? No. Does a fish or a monkey answer if you ask it a question? No. Does a human being answer if you ask it a question. Yes! Instant test for sentience.

Or are you one of those Gaia-nuts trying to say that rocks and vegetables are sentient too?

Maglev in U.S. (-1, Offtopic)

mrbrown1602 (536940) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122136)

I know there are plenty overseas, but are there any major maglev trains here in the U.S.? Any major cities using them?

Wickenberg, Arizona (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122177)

state-of-the-fucking-art

Re:Wickenberg, Arizona (1)

SB5 (165464) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122219)

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF -8&c2coff=1&q=Wickenburg+Arizona+maglev&spell= 1

I am not an expert and I don't know what you are talking about A Coward, but Google pulls up nothing, you should maybe elaborate your ... mumbling?

Re:Maglev in U.S. (1)

SB5 (165464) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122200)

Last I heard they are/were working on one... I forget which city but I know it was either Pittsburgh, or Baltimore. They haven't even started construction....

Re:Maglev in U.S. (4, Funny)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122212)

I believe there's a monorail in Springfield, Illinois. It's well documented [google.com] ; I thought everyone knew about it?

Re:Maglev in U.S. (1)

line.at.infinity (707997) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122221)

Ha, but monorails aren't maglev.

Re:Maglev in U.S. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122230)

is this post #8122222?

Re:Maglev in U.S. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122307)

No.

Re:Maglev in U.S. (0, Funny)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122234)

Shhh, this is Slashdot, 99.9 percent of the people couldn't tell you the difference but like to think they could. Please, don't shatter their illusions.

(Cue 20 flames from people who can tell the difference.)

Re:Maglev in U.S. (2, Informative)

line.at.infinity (707997) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122214)

Actually, there aren't that many overseas, none of them are long or cost-effective. Some amusement parks have it (Disney World's "Train of Tomorrow,"). IIRC there's one in Osaka, Japan, but it runs wicked slow due to safety concerns.

Re:Maglev in U.S. (2, Informative)

TehHustler (709893) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122237)

The only one I can think of here in the UK is the one between Birmingham Airport and the Birmingham Exhibition Centres, if its still there, that is. I remember it about 10 years ago, maybe more.

Quandry (4, Funny)

kinnell (607819) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122140)

Maybe any quantum physicists around can tell us more about this

Maybe, but how will you tell the real quantum physicists from the myriad of armchair quantum physicists who think they know what it's all about.

Re:Quandry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122149)

>...the myriad of armchair quantum physicists who think they know what it's all about

they're the ones that get modded to +5 Insightful

Re:Quandry (1)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122180)

I think this will be the one who'll get a +5 funny because the others will consider his/her theories as some comic bullcrap.

Re:Quandry (5, Funny)

Urkki (668283) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122156)

  • Maybe, but how will you tell the real quantum physicists from the myriad of armchair quantum physicists who think they know what it's all about.

Why, by making an observation of course! After that their quantum state collapses to just one state, either a real or an armchair quantum physicist.

There are some experiments underway to use this to encrypt articles about quantum physics, so that only intended recipients can decrypt the text, even.

Re:Quandry (4, Funny)

R.Caley (126968) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122175)

How will you tell the real quantum physicists from the myriad of armchair quantum physicists who think they know what it's all about.

The real quantum physicist will post a superposition of all possible comments with attached probabilities, so your browser will be able to randomly select which one to show you.

If you are one of twins, your sibling will always see a comment presenting the precise opposite point of view. Unfortunatly, there is no way to use this phenomenon to get zero-ping time internet access.

Re:Quandry (1)

johnhennessy (94737) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122181)

You can blame that on all those 'easy-to-read' books on quantum physics. I'm not quite sure, someone might let me know - what is the attraction of attempting to explain something as abstract as quantum physics to lay people.

This type of book does no good what-so-ever except spawn new breeds of armchair physicists.

And it probably drives the authors mad - "how do I explain entanglement to complete beginer".

I'm just waiting for the "Quantum Physics for Dummies" book.

Re:Quandry (5, Insightful)

Urkki (668283) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122233)

  • This type of book does no good what-so-ever except spawn new breeds of armchair physicists.

And this is bad because...? To put it bluntly, that's a bit elitist attitude, "if you can't understand this thing, you shouldn't even think about it, just go and do your daily work and pay your taxes so scientists get their grants and particle accelerators, don't bother your little brain with this stuff".

Anything that makes layman more familiar with basic scientific research and principles and generally interested in those is good IMHO, even if they get it a bit wrong.

Re:Quandry (5, Insightful)

PSandusky (740962) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122362)

You can blame that on all those 'easy-to-read' books on quantum physics. I'm not quite sure, someone might let me know - what is the attraction of attempting to explain something as abstract as quantum physics to lay people.

Considering that the majority of the people who read /. are likely not quantum physicists, this sounds an awful lot like flamebait. Really, there's no point in writing such things... they should just send their research to you, right? At least you understand it, unlike those of us "lay people" who aren't so enlightened. Bah, waste of paper, those books. Yup. Uh-huh. Yessir.

What, precisely, is wrong with explaining science to the general populace? I would consider such a thing a laudable goal, regardless of discipline to be disseminated, not only because of the sheer enlightenment value, but also because a population taught to think scientifically and flexibly, as from exposure to the sciences, is far more difficult to manipulate than one that has no understanding of any of it!

The original press release (4, Informative)

Hittite Creosote (535397) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122258)

From Colorado University, the original press release is here [colorado.edu] .

If you want the actual paper, and have access to the journal, it's published on the online version of Physics Review Letters [aps.org] Phys. Rev. Lett. 92, 040403 (2004)

abstract here [aip.org] for those with access.

PRL going down the drain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122314)

I thought PRL was supposed to cater to an interdisciplinary field of scientist. At least the last time I wrote an article that was going to be submitted to PRL, I was required to write the introduction so that any scientist could understand what the study was about.

From what I can see, this is no longer required which is a shame.

This result is from such a narrow and fundamental field of study that it should be in PRB.

Re:Quandry (1)

ScottSpeaks! (707844) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122359)

how will you tell the real quantum physicists from the myriad of armchair quantum physicists

You'll just have to settle for a probability cloud in the general vicinity of where a real quantum physicist might be located at any instant.

Too many references to superconductors (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122147)

These guys keep talking about superconductors but the fact remains that this is fundamental research with no real applications now or even in the near future.

Smacks like "gotta tell them at least about some possible application to keep us funded"-talk.

First fundamental, then applied research (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122218)

So fucking what?

Applied research cannot be done without first investigating the fundamentals. You can't call yourself a scientist if you don't understand this.

Not to mention (2, Funny)

Photar (5491) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122148)

Being able to do that cool thing where you take a metal toy and then put a magnet under the desk and make it move around, you know that thing, now you can do it through walls.

When can I buy a coil of it? (1, Troll)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122153)

"They cooled potassium gas to a billionth of a degree C above absolute zero or minus 459 degrees F -- which is the point at which matter stops moving.

They confined the gas in a vacuum chamber and used magnetic fields and laser light to manipulate the potassium atoms into pairing up.

"This is very similar to what happens to electrons in a superconductor," Jin said.

This is more likely to provide applications in the practical world than a Bose-Einstein condensate, she said, because fermions are what make up solid matter."

Hmmmmm; how are they going to come to a process that can produce an extruded filament that can be bought in Radio Shack, if cooling to such a low temperature is needed in the process?

Time to dump all your oil shares boys!

Sixth form of matter? (0, Interesting)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122154)

Okay, what was the fifth? Solids, liquids, gases, plasmas, ???

Re:Sixth form of matter? (4, Informative)

pegasustonans (589396) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122178)

"The new matter form is called a fermionic condensate and it is the sixth known form of matter -- after gases, solids, liquids, plasma and a Bose-Einstein condensate, created only in 1995." Come on people, RTFA already... :)

Re:Sixth form of matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122252)

Come on people, RTFA already... :)

I'm dyslexic, you insensitive clod!

I really am dylsexic (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122344)

You insensitive cold.

Re:Sixth form of matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122182)

Try following the link to the article. The fifth is Bose-Einstein condensates.

Re:Sixth form of matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122196)

Okay, what was the fifth? Solids, liquids, gases, plasmas, ???

As per the article, Bose-Einstein Condensate.

Aqueous is often also considerate a state of matter (ions in solution, typically water). However since this is more of a chemistry thing, physicists probably don't recognise it that often. It's a dissolve something in something, rather than heat or cool something issue.

Liquid Crystal, Bose-Einstein Condensate? (1)

loadquo (659316) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122203)

Although in this case I suspect they count BEC as the fifth as they are particle physcists and it is the chemists and chemical physicists who get exicted by Liquid Crystals.

Re:Sixth form of matter? (5, Funny)

squaretorus (459130) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122228)

Its the Bose-Einstein condensate - and may I point out what a SHIT name this is for a form of matter.

When you're naming a star, a hurricane, or a child you know you have a good chance of some more coming along later - so hell - John or Mary will do nicely.

But with forms of matter I think they missed a trick. Plasma is a pretty cool name after all. I would have thought a few minutes spent searching for the phone number for Douglas Adams and a quick "Hey - Doug - can I call you Doug - No? - Okay - Mr Adams - You were joking? - cool - very funny - ANyway - we have a new form of matter - and we can only think up really shit scientificy names for it - any chance of you coming up with some options we can present to the board? - None of your stupid numbers or shit - a proper kick ass name .... etc... etc.... etc...

Re:Sixth form of matter? (2, Funny)

orius_khan (416293) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122257)

Actually they DID call up Douglas Adams and ask him for a name to give their new form of matter, but the only reply he would give is "I'm fucking dead!"

I think they picked the lesser of two evils when went with "Bose-Einstein condensate"...

... and you're a fucking idiot (1)

n3k5 (606163) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122304)

Actually they DID call up Douglas Adams and ask him for a name to give their new form of matter, but the only reply he would give is "I'm fucking dead!"
After some BEC had actually been _created_ in a lab, DNA continued to live for almost six years.

Re:Sixth form of matter? (2, Informative)

mainframemouse (740958) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122334)

"Bose-Einstein condensate" was created in 1995, Douglas Adams was very much alive and kicking.

Re:Sixth form of matter? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122254)

Tubgirl's fountain of course.

Re:Sixth form of matter? (5, Interesting)

jochietoch (724781) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122316)

Frankly, I wish they would stop claiming every phase transition to form 'the n-th state of matter'. There are literally hundreds of phase transitions in nature, especially at low temperatures. If you start calling every sector of the phase diagram 'a New State Of Matter (tm)' on an equal footing with gases, liquids and solids, you can't stop at Bose-Einstein condensates and these fermionic condensates. What about superconducting metals, vortex lattices, liquid crystals, flowing sand, and what have you. All New Forms Of Matter. That is to say, it's completely arbitrary. Sure it's cool what these guys have done, but they deliberately misrepresent their result to make a catchy headline. A scientist has a responsibility not to do that.

Re:Sixth form of matter? (1)

n3tkUt (726923) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122355)

The fifth? You don't remember? Pink hair, spoke with an accent, she ran off with that bald taxi driver... saved the world. Sheesh, some people.

4am... Am I crazy, or is there something erotic about this artical?-

"What we've done is create this new exotic form of matter," Deborah

"It is a scientific breakthrough in providing a new type of quantum mechanical behavior," added Jin.

"This is very similar to what happens to electrons in a superconductor," Jin said.

"Our atoms are more strongly attracted to one another than in normal superconductors," she said. .... after reading that I needed some supercooled gas to translate the bahavi- oops, heh, I'll stop there.

Maglevs? More like... (4, Funny)

rtz (221437) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122167)

more efficient electric motors, and (our favorite) cheaper maglev trains.

Maglevs are cool, but the real slashdotter wants to know how it will help build space elevators.

Re:Maglevs? More like... (1)

Rovaani (20023) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122226)

Superconducting wires allow the electricity generated by the fusion plant to be conducted to the elevator car of the space elevator, eliminating the need for rockets. Duh.

Re:Maglevs? More like... (0)

raz2 (732248) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122294)

... and naturally, how to get rid of Bill and Steve in an efficient and clean way!

Space Elevators (0)

kiwipeso (467618) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122361)

The Star Ladder could be created by elements formed with the new form of matter, it could be easier to fiddle existing elements into stronger forms.
Why, because I'm pretty sure buckybulls aren't strong enough to use as a space elevator.

What if... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122170)

...they could make power stations using these substances.

Practical application (3, Insightful)

wan-fu (746576) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122183)

The article seems to highly stress the practical application of this new form of matter. Doesn't this seem too optimistic or unrealistic? If it's a new form of matter, surely there must be properties which even researchers are unsure about. What are the safety and health issues involved in using this in 'practical applications'?

Re:Practical application (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122209)

not necessary. the electron is just a single particle and that changed the entire world.

I want... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122187)

Heck with maglev, gimme FTL !

Re:I want... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122287)

You already have it, yesterday, you just cant see nor touch it.

i was promised maglevs! (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122198)

the 21st century's version of the 20th's "i was promised rocket cars!" will be "i was promised maglevs!"

maglevs always seem to be just around the corner... perpetually...

Look at Europe, Asia (4, Interesting)

nniillss (577580) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122229)

You can order a maglev from Siemens, Germany, at any time. Provided you have a deep pocket.

Re:i was promised maglevs! The future is here? (0)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122330)

It's flying cars, and rocket belts, and dinner in a pill, and robot maids and butlers and 3d tv and moon vacations and computer professors and all we got is this stinking internet.

Connective tissue (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122204)

Lets see... ...
They cooled potassium gas to a billionth of a degree C above absolute zero or minus 459 degrees F -- which is the point at which matter stops moving. ...

Step 1. Freeze until cold cold cold (like a regular superconductor)
Step 2. ???
Step 3. Have a room temperature superconductor
Step 4. PROFIT!!!!

Ok, seriously... Whats to say that you can't get any kind of matter to act like superconductors at a low enough temperature?

And while I'm at it:
Imagine a beowulf clust.....

Re:Connective tissue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122296)

Even if they did have room temperature superconductivity you sill WONT get near an MRI machine, due to its cost in buying and runing and maintaining.

Medical technology = elitest with money only need apply, it will still be out of reach of those that need it.

If you want medical care, go to India fuck the west when it comes to getting access to MRI machines. They just want to screw you or try give reasons for NOT using it.

yay (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122205)

now i can have my floating armchair

Superconductor hype (4, Insightful)

squaretorus (459130) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122206)

Presentation of this story suggests that this work is a step towards room temp superconductors. While this may be true, I suspect it is no more true of this that any other significant development of our understanding of that wierd stuff we call 'quantum'.

I really dont see superconductors becoming feasable at room temperatures anytime soon (i.e. 100 years) unless we all decide we actually like it when our rooms are well below freezing.

New forms of matter are interesting - but that they are found only at a billionth of a degree above absolute zero is no more interesting to me than the fact that we can build a fridge able to get stuff down to those temperatures in the first place. I'd be scared if we didn't find some spooky stuff going on!

How's this for hype (1)

DarkkOne (741046) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122323)

Or rather, I believe they claim to already have something at least functionally similar if not equivalent to a room temperature superconductor... I wonder how much of this is hype and how much of this is reality. I've actually had the chance to read what they handed out to prospective investors, and although I admit I have a very limited background, the "fluff content" seemed to be backed by relatively stable facts beside the fact that they didn't give away exactly how they pulled it off (for what I suspect are rather clear "or you'd try it to" reasons). I dunno, just thought it was interesting.

And I forgot the Ultraconductors URL (1)

DarkkOne (741046) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122326)

http://www.ultraconductors.com/ *feels stupid* I don't deserve to be a /.er

Re:Superconductor hype (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122329)

Well that's not exactly true. It's at the extremes that it is simplest to see where our models break down, so we might learn more, adjust our thinking, an make the incremental improvements to what we know well.

I think room tempeture superconducting is probably outside the scope of possible. But that doesn't mean I don't think there are tangible rewards to be had from double checking, even if my guesses are ultimately vindicated.

In a way, I lament those who share your lament. Denis Miller (I'm morbidly curious at times) thinks Mars rovers, and NASA in general are a waste of money. What's ironic is he says this on a program bounce off a satellite; proving, once again, it doesn't hurt to have an education to go together with a vocabulary.

Whew... (0, Funny)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122220)

The scientists are predicting that this will lead to 'room temperature solid' superconductors,

Thats good, it was bad enough when I licked a street light with my tongue on a dare in the cold of winter once.

Un-scientific questions (3, Interesting)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122223)

So... quantum whatever... can I touch it? Without massive pain? What's it feel like?

--
In London? Need a Physics Tutor? [colingregorypalmer.net]

American Weblog in London [colingregorypalmer.net]

Re:Un-scientific questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122262)

Just remember.. like everything quantum, you can look, but don't touch... err.. you can't touch it. Or touch it but don't look..

Re:Un-scientific questions (1)

Hittite Creosote (535397) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122282)

So... quantum whatever... can I touch it? Without massive pain? What's it feel like?

If you're lucky, it would freeze the nerves so fast you wouldn't feel the pain.

Re:Un-scientific questions (3, Funny)

Snosty (210966) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122366)

So... quantum whatever... can I touch it? Without massive pain? What's it feel like?
--
In London? Need a Physics Tutor?


You're the damn physics tutor, you tell me.

A more in depth article on the subject (5, Informative)

Guy_Warwick (740214) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122240)

Deborah Jin the team leader gives more of an idea of her work in this article. http://physicsweb.org/article/world/15/4/7

Re:A more in depth article on the subject (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122268)

Mmm... I'd love to tease her clit.

Re:A more in depth article on the subject (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122336)

Are you fucking blind or do you have some weird fetish for ugly asian women?

Re:A more in depth article on the subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122353)

Maybe one day you'll learn about those newfangled hyperlink [w3.org] doohickies.

Arguable (4, Insightful)

tacocat (527354) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122247)

I'm not a Quantum Physicist by any stretch, just a Materials Engineer. But it seems to me that the condensates have a small issue about them. They seem to hold an extremely narrow definition of a material.

Considering solid, gases, liquids, and even plasmas, they all have a range of environmental factors within which they can exist and have some level of application/interaction to the rest of the newtonian universe. I'm not disputing that they are able to get all these little bits together, but at a billionth of a fraction above absolute zero? That's going to make for a pretty cold ride on the maglev

This is news?! :-) (5, Interesting)

ylodi (746582) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122265)

Croatian scientist Danijel Djurek discovered superconducting ceramic that works reliably at room temperature. Danijel says that current will flow without resistance through the material, which is a mixture of lead, lead carbonate, and silver oxides. Here is article in today's croatian daily paper (sorry, there is no translation). [vecernji-list.hr] Old news on you.com.au [you.com.au] .

Re:This is news?! :-) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122290)

That's nice, but I'll wait for the paper and repeat experiments before I'll go and pop any corks.

Re:This is news?! :-) (1, Funny)

narkotix (576944) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122313)

so do i add this before or after the cold fusion reactor on my vapourware list? :P

Sensationalism at its best (4, Insightful)

nniillss (577580) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122278)

While it's impossible to tell from this shitty article what was actually observed, it's clear that this super-low-temperature experiment has nothing to do with high-Tc superconductivity. At least not more than a million previous experiments; a more likely candidate would have been experiments done long ago on superfluid 3He.

What about faster Rollercoaster launch systems (1, Funny)

stiggle (649614) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122325)

Most of the modern coasters use linear motors to launch the trains, so better conductors and magnets would make the launch systems faster (and cheaper) :-)

Perhaps we can see someone building something to beat the Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point for being the tallest, fastest coaster (when its working).

Maglev (0, Flamebait)

Kumkwat (312490) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122328)


Actually there are close to nill long-distance commercial maglev applications.

I remember reading that China looked likely to cancel the planned Shanghei to Beijing one which was to be constructed by german companies. I rememebr the costs per km running up to US$48M.

Room temperature super conductors would definately reduce the costs involved!

yes.. but does it really matter (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8122333)

yes.. but does it really 'matter'.

bad pun - I know :D

HIgh Tc (5, Informative)

geordieboy (515166) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122356)

I think this is possibly a big step towards room temperature superconductivity. The point is that in normal (even high Tc) superconductors, the forces between the cooper pairs are rather weak, hence the need to cool to at least 70K or so to get the effect. In this fermionic stuff, the force is a little stronger (at least, this is claimed in the article). Thus it may be possible to design a material which uses the same principle as the fermionic gas but in the form of a solid material at say 300K (just as high Tc superconductors are essentially solid B-E condensates, more or less).
BTW, I'm a cosmologist, not a condensed matter person, so I could be talking out of my arse.

Maglev trains are nice but... (3, Interesting)

timepilot (116247) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122360)

Okay, I'm all for more efficient generators and maglev trains, but I'd really like to see transporters, warp drive, photon torpedos or at the very least a good tricorder.

Any chance the *next* form of matter can help here?

The Original Article (2, Informative)

narftrek (549077) | more than 10 years ago | (#8122368)

Here's [nist.gov] the original (and official in my book) article.
I read this yesterday and thought to myself "wow this would make a great /. article." Lo and behold it shows up here. Damn work for blocking non .gov addresses!!
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