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Print 28 comment(s) - last by William Gaatje.. on Jul 17 at 7:57 AM

Bit by bit, scientists coax the secrets of superconductivity out of hiding.

Advances are made yearly in electrical science. Though almost nothing could be simpler than a flow of electrons through a conducting material, some of the finer points of conductivity continue to elude science. Superconductivity is one such area that researchers struggle with daily.

Though superconductors promise a great many benefits, lossless transmission, heat-less electrical components and more, they're still out of the reach of anyone not working for a well-equipped laboratory. With high temperature superconductors only reaching critical temperature at 185 Kelvin or lower, implementation in any type of consumer market is wildly unrealistic.

But progress is being made. Recently, a group of scientists at the Carnegie Institute of Science and Stanford University discovered that putting superconducting materials under a great deal of pressure, 21 gigapascals at least in this case, can induce a superconducting state even at room temperature. A group of Japanese scientists recently produced a superconducting material that is nearly immune to the effects of magnetism, which in most other materials prevents the superconducting state. Unfortunately, the transition temperature of their material is a very cool 26 Kelvin.

These discoveries may not be enabling a new superconductor infrastructure, but they are giving researchers more information about the mysteries of superconducting itself. Researchers at the National High Magnet Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida have made another discovery which will give scientists more data to mull over.

Using a doped copper-oxide material and the Magnet Lab's 45 tesla magnet, the NMFL researchers were able to for the first time get a glimpse at areas of a superconductor never before seen. They were able to see where pockets of doped carriers gather to form Cooper Pairs, one of the basics of superconductivity. Knowing where in the electronic structure these electrons group up may give scientists some insight into the nature of superconducting itself.

Another discovery made via the process NMFL used to peer into the material is that magnetism itself likely still persists even after the transition to a superconducting state. Understanding how this magnetism effects the superconducting state itself, beneficially or not, could also help to develop new materials for research.

It may take years or decades to discover or engineer a room temperature superconducting material. It's possible that it may never happen at all simply due to the unshakable laws of physics. But as more research is poured into the stubbornly secretive state of matter, the odds of developing something very close to it get better. Cities may not be laced with maglev trains next year, but it's not out of the question yet.



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Just an idea
By William Gaatjes on 7/15/2008 6:01:45 PM , Rating: 2
I once thought of an idea, i am sure it is nothing and i forgot about a lot of things. But i just wanted to share it anyway.

I always understood that when you take a piece of metal(or any other kind of material) all the atoms in that metal vibrate. But they do not vibrate harmonically with eachother, bouncing into eachother, moving away from eachother, colliding with the next. My idea was always that when you cool it down or put pressure on it the atoms start to vibrate less violently and at some point they start to move harmonically together. When this happens , the electrons can hop along the nuclei without bumping. It is like resonance. The elektrons get pushed by the atom they jump of and pulled by the atom they jump on.
I believe that it all has to do with harmonics and resonance.

Especially when one googles about how important the positions of elements are towards one another in a lattice.





RE: Just an idea
By James Wood Carter on 7/15/2008 7:44:13 PM , Rating: 2
Are you then suggesting that more dense packed metal atoms are better conductors when cryo-cooled?


RE: Just an idea
By xRyanCat on 7/15/2008 10:38:14 PM , Rating: 2
Temperature is the average kinetic energy within any given object (right?), so cooling it would decrease it's energy and therefore decrease the movement of the atoms. That's why superconductors are cooled in the first place, correct?

It seems it would also be easier to cool the conductors than have to apply constant high pressure to them.


RE: Just an idea
By Chernobyl68 on 7/16/2008 11:54:22 AM , Rating: 2
following this logic, cooling the structure doesn't make them vibrate in phase or anything, it just makes it vibrate less, until at absolute zero when they stop moving at all. you can't "tune" the vibrations in that way. that would infer a measure of control you simply can't have.


RE: Just an idea
By William Gaatjes on 7/16/2008 3:56:25 PM , Rating: 2
I believe so too. But i also believe that there are known states, hence the harmonics idea. Maybe there are more temperatures when this can happen, i wonder if they went even lower to see if they found something interesting.
And that the atoms can tune themselves, hence the resonance idea. i am just guessing.

But i always have to think of that experiment IBM did. That experiment where IBM researchers placed a cobalt atom inside atoms arranged in a certain order and they started to measure the energy of a phantom atom(not really there) because of the interference of the actual atoms that where there.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A0...

And i also have to think about strained silicon.
Where they force the silicon atoms in the structure in a certain way that the elektrons have less resistance of moving through the silicon.

Also when you think of the type II superconductors they are made of various elements making op the crystal lattice.
Maybe it is the same principle as strained silicon is.


RE: Just an idea
By William Gaatjes on 7/16/2008 4:17:37 PM , Rating: 2
Something nice i picked up on another website :

http://www.periodicvideos.com/


RE: Just an idea
By William Gaatjes on 7/17/2008 7:57:12 AM , Rating: 2
This website i like the most. You need to have java installed.

It has a lot of usefull and learnfull animations.

http://www.colorado.edu/physics/2000/index.pl


A superconductor
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 7/15/2008 10:40:24 AM , Rating: 1
These discoveries may not be enabling a new superconductor..
I think a superconductor would be a man leading a 7,000 piece orchestra.. bom bum chiss... sorry can not pass up a bad joke.

On the serious side of things:
" A group of Japanese scientists recently produced a superconducting material that is nearly immune to the effects of magnetism, which in most other materials prevents the superconducting state."

If completely immune, would that mean superconducting materials would be immune to EMP type attacks...Like nukes (assuming it handled the blast)?




RE: A superconductor
By SiliconJon on 7/15/2008 10:48:50 AM , Rating: 2
Indeed, if immune to magnetic interference then magnetic weaponry would not affect it as I understand it.


RE: A superconductor
By masher2 (blog) on 7/15/2008 10:51:36 AM , Rating: 2
> "If completely immune, would that mean superconducting materials would be immune to EMP type attacks"

EMP is an induced electric field, generated by the EM (gamma rays or whatnot) of a nuclear blast interacting with the magnetic field of the earth. So no, this wouldn't be immune.


RE: A superconductor
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 7/15/2008 11:42:26 AM , Rating: 2
So, whether or not a material is immune to effect of magnetic items the material will be effected by EMP. So, the newly started electric field would mix, pull, or push the effects of the Earths magnetic field through and around the material thus effecting the material (not making it immune). Would that be fair or am I just way off base?


RE: A superconductor
By masher2 (blog) on 7/15/2008 1:01:04 PM , Rating: 2
The magnetic field here is only important in that it induces an electric field. When you run any long conductor through such a field, its going to transmit it.


RE: A superconductor
By Adonlude on 7/15/2008 5:19:40 PM , Rating: 2
This is true, but the electric current is only generated because the magnetic flux lines penetrate the conductive material with a di/dt. I thought that this magnetic field repelling superconductor kept the flux lines from penetrating its material. Wouldn't this then keep the currents from being generated in the superconductor thus making it immune to EMP?


RE: A superconductor
By masher2 (blog) on 7/15/2008 8:38:05 PM , Rating: 2
> "but the electric current is only generated because the magnetic flux lines penetrate the conductive material with a di/dt"

No. The explosion doesn't generate a magnetic flux (well it does, but that's not really relevant here). The critical point is the enormous gamma ray flux, which when they interact in the atmosphere, creates free electrons. A bunch of high-energy electrons is what we what call an electric current....that electric field exists with or without any conductive material to interact with. But a long conductor of course will magnify the effect, as it spans more of the field, and thus sees a larger potential difference (i.e. voltage).


Where?
By physicsguy46 on 7/15/2008 11:00:50 AM , Rating: 1
Umm...there is no Carnegie Institute of Science. There is the Carnegie Institute of Technology, which is now part of Carnegie Mellon University, the Carnegie Instite in Pittsburgh (which includes, among other things, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History), or there is the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

So, where exactly are you guys talking about?




RE: Where?
By phxfreddy on 7/15/2008 11:51:32 AM , Rating: 3
Its near FBNU ( fly by night university ) near where the writer got his degree


RE: Where?
By pmertens on 7/15/2008 12:41:25 PM , Rating: 3
Obviously there is one:

http://www.ciw.edu/about/name

rather easy to find out if you follow the links in the article ... and then the links in the linked article ...
But how else to find backround infos on an interesting topic ;-)


Where?
By physicsguy46 on 7/15/2008 10:59:54 AM , Rating: 1
Umm...there is no Carnegie Instite of Science. There is the Carnegie Institute of Technology, which is now part of Carnegie Mellon University, the Carnegie Instite in Pittsburgh (which includes, among other things, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History), or there is the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

So, where exactly are you guys talking about?




RE: Where?
By pmertens on 7/15/2008 12:43:56 PM , Rating: 2
there is (as posted above) and there is even more.
In total there seem to be 23 carnegie organisations ;-)

http://www.ciw.edu/andrew_carnegies_organizations


RE: Where?
By chrisdent on 7/15/2008 8:52:39 PM , Rating: 2
It's obviously Carnegie Hall -- think how good their concerts would be if they were all conducted with superconductors


NHMFL
By Chernobyl68 on 7/15/2008 12:53:08 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, its the National High Magnetic Field Labratory, or Maglab as we called it. I went to school right next door at the FAMU-FSU CoE.

http://www.magnet.fsu.edu/




Old news
By Jimbo1234 on 7/15/2008 2:09:59 PM , Rating: 2
Gravity?
By JonnyDough on 7/15/2008 7:48:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Another discovery made via the process NMFL used to peer into the material is that magnetism itself likely still persists even after the transition to a superconducting state. Understanding how this magnetism effects the superconducting state itself, beneficially or not, could also help to develop new materials for research.


It would seem they may be close to stumbling upon a better understanding of what gravity is too! Floating around weightlessly? Here we come!




For more info
By HercDriver on 7/16/2008 10:42:51 AM , Rating: 2
Go to www.blacklightpower.com and read Dr Mills' book. If you don't have time to go through the entire 2000 pages, just focus on chapter 25-Superconductivity. I find it interesting how "mainstream" science still "struggles to find answers" that have alredy been found. I guess that if scientists suddenly admitted that the standard model was wrong, and there was no "dark energy" and that the entire cosmos down to the smallest particles had already been explained, their precious funding would dry up. Remember how much money really talks, these days. If your job and salary was based on "researching" and trying to prove theories that you knew were wrong (like quantum mechanics) would you admit it?

Flame away (but only if you are actually capable of understanding more than 10% of Dr Mills' book)




Superconductor/Maglev trains
By LF on 7/16/2008 3:23:52 PM , Rating: 2
I'd like to see a magleg network connecting all major US cities by an agreeded upon target date similar to putting a man on the moon. This could be an elevated system following present rail corridors and interstate highways. It should be financed by the government and run by knowledgable people lettered in transportation administration.

Actually, I am a superconductor!: I have conducted University Bands, I am volunteer conductor on a steam railroad, and I have been a conductor of electricty when I have accidently touched some 110 volt live wires. How many people can claim this experience?




Human Brain
By elgoliath on 7/16/2008 5:05:51 PM , Rating: 2
I've heard that the human brain is or is thought to be superconductive. Anyone have any info for or against that?




Room temperature superconductor
By PlasmaBomb on 7/15/2008 9:59:16 AM , Rating: 2
I think it was shown that even at 21 GPa the superconductor didn't superconduct at 295 K (room temperature)...




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