Scientists Recently Set New Record for Highest-Temperature Superconductor

By: | May 30th, 2019

Image courtesy: University of Chicago

An international team of scientists has discovered superconductivity (the ability to conduct electricity perfectly) at a record-breaking high temperature. Researchers observed superconductivity at temperatures of about 250 Kelvin, or -23 degrees Celsius (-9.4 degrees Fahrenheit).

It is a big achievement as it is a jump of about 50 degrees Celsius (84.6 Fahrenheit degrees) compared to the previous confirmed record and is definitely a step closer to the goal of achieving a resistance-free electrical current at room temperature.

“This leap, by 50 Kelvin, from the previous critical temperature record of 203 Kelvin, indicates the real possibility of achieving room-temperature superconductivity (that is at 293 to 298 Kelvins) in the near future at high pressures, and the perspective of conventional superconductivity at ambient pressure,” the authors wrote in their paper.

What is a Superconductor?

Superconductors first discovered in 1911, are the devices that can conduct electricity with zero resistance and cannot be penetrated by magnetic fields. Since none of the energy is lost during the transmission process, superconductors can prove to be of great use.

Room-Temperature Superconductors Would Unleash incredible Technologies

Super conductors will help in making electrical wires without diminishing currents, extremely fast supercomputers and efficient magnetic levitation trains.

However this phenomenon of superconductivity requires extreme conditions, like freezing cold temperatures and incredibly high pressures, which limit their usefulness. Due to this, researchers are searching for a new material that can create superconductivity under room temperature.

Researcher Vitali Prakapenka from the University of Chicago said, “Our next goal is to reduce the pressure needed to synthesize samples, to bring the critical temperature closer to ambient, and perhaps even create samples that could be synthesized at high pressures, but still superconduct at normal pressures,” 

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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