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The new lead, tin, and indium based superconductor discovered by researchers with features an average critical temperature of 185.6 K, according to, making it the world's first ambient superconductor.  (Source:
While unfortunately we don't have room temperature superconductors, we are fairly close

Based on the language of the press release that announced that German and Canadian scientists had discovered a superconductor that could operate without refrigerant and the EETimes initial report that a room-temperature superconductor had been founded, DailyTech incorrectly reported that a room-temperature superconductor had been discovered, due to these improper or misleading sources

The discovery is still significant.  At 100-125 GPa, scientists found the superconductivity of the silane compound sharply increased.  However, only five data points were collected and scientists never observed a critical temperature above 20 K.  Possibly of future benefit, the shape of the curve from the data points indicates that for a small range of high pressures a very high critical point could be achieved.  Researchers say that this critical point could be as high as room temperature, likely the source of the misquote.  The research did mark perhaps the first successful effort to get compressed hydrogen to superconduct, paving the way towards these higher temperature future experiments. 

Interestingly the researchers point out that recent hydrogen compression efforts using buckyballs could help further pressurize the hydrogen, allowing further progress in this class of superconductors.

Still, there is good news on the superconductor front.  The latest non-pressurized superconductor record was set by (Sn1.0Pb0.5In0.5)Ba4Tm5Cu7O20 on March 8.  This new superconductor on eight independent trials averaged a TC, or critical superconducting temperature, of 185.6 K.  The previous record had been 181 K, set by a version of the same class, the improved new one having slightly more lead and slightly less of the expensive element indium.  This superconductor marks the first "ambient temperature superconductor". 

The term refers to a superconductor capable of operating within the temperature range observed over the Earth's history.  The coldest observed temperature in recorded history was 183.95 K, taken at the 21 July, 1983, the Vostok Research Station in Antarctica.  If this superconductor had been there at the time, it would have superconducted.

To put this accomplishment in perspective as of October 2007, the highest temperature superconductor was a ceramic material consisting of thallium, mercury, copper, barium, calcium, and oxygen with a Tc=138 K.  With a 45 K increase in only 5 months, it certainly seems that room temperature superconductors will soon be on their way, whether the silane family pans out or not.  However, for now we will have to wait a bit longer.

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Small Correction
By Etsp on 3/24/2008 4:43:33 PM , Rating: 2
The term refers to a superconductor refers to a superconductor
You know, maybe DT could implement something like a community based proofreading system, where people who sign up for it have a chance to read an article and point out any glaring mistakes before it is posted on the main site. Just a thought =).

RE: Small Correction
By JediSmurf on 3/24/2008 9:04:33 PM , Rating: 5
If this superconductor had been there at the time, it would have superconducted.

I love this sentence.

RE: Small Correction
By DrBlofeld on 3/25/2008 2:01:06 PM , Rating: 2
I completely agree. That sentence truly makes the article. I've never come across a sentence like that before.

RE: Small Correction
By homebredcorgi on 3/25/2008 7:36:07 PM , Rating: 2
"Each pound weighs ten million pounds."

Amen to the proofreading's called an "editor."

But seriously, I recall the original article and while it claimed (incorrectly) room temperature superconductivity, it glossed over the fact that you need this stuff to be at absurdly high pressure even if it were to be a superconductor (which it isn't).

And don't even get me started on all of the global warming crap on this site....

RT superconductors soon?
By HilbertSpace on 3/24/2008 5:59:08 PM , Rating: 2
considering cuprate SC's were found over 20 years ago, and the highest temp is around 180 K, I'm skeptical about getting to room temps any time soon. Just consider that 1000's of people have been working on it for over 20 years.

Thanks for Retraction
By Grast on 3/24/08, Rating: -1
RE: Thanks for Retraction
By MatthiasF on 3/24/2008 4:37:34 PM , Rating: 1
It's probably hidden on a blog somewhere instead of in the real news, much like this article to it's parent.

RE: Thanks for Retraction
By JackBeQuick on 3/24/2008 5:29:20 PM , Rating: 2
The GW articles are all blogs...

RE: Thanks for Retraction
By Ringold on 3/24/2008 9:00:55 PM , Rating: 2
The New York Times is a blog?

Oh, wait. Nevermind. :P

RE: Thanks for Retraction
By winterspan on 3/25/08, Rating: -1
RE: Thanks for Retraction
By MrPoletski on 3/25/2008 4:28:21 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Thanks for Retraction
By svenkesd on 3/25/2008 9:24:06 AM , Rating: 4
Anthropogenic climate change = climate change due to human activity.

Of course there is climate change due to humans. Who would argue that people have never had an effect on the climate? The tree in my back yard has an effect on the climate. Everything has an effect on the climate to some degree.

The articles on this website present alternative theories to the mainstream. I hope you are not suggesting this is a bad thing.

We should never sit back and say "Yup, this theory is perfect, let's stop analyzing data and ignore new studies and accept what we have right now." (for any theory)

RE: Thanks for Retraction
By 1078feba on 3/25/2008 9:40:01 AM , Rating: 2

There...I fixed that for you.

RE: Thanks for Retraction
By mahax on 3/25/2008 1:12:43 PM , Rating: 2
haha, touche!

RE: Thanks for Retraction
By beyazkeyat on 3/27/2008 5:01:22 PM , Rating: 2

God, settle down. You don't have to get all pissy and red in the face to prove a point. It's still just a theory. No one knows for sure, not even these scientists. You can't say that the world is screwed based on a small window of 150 years. That's nothing in terms of the Earth's existance. No sense in getting mad just because somebody doesn't agree with you. I hope you never get married, because you'd probably just beat your wife if she disagreed with you. :P

Anyway, I personally don't care if the world goes to hell. It probably won't be any time soon. (ruling out having all out nuclear warfare or something) Energy conservation, whatever, some things about it are nice, some not. I don't wanna spend more money because some hippy thinks the world is going to end. :D I use compact fluorescent bulbs though because they save me money. I'm all for hydrogen-powered vehicles, they'd just better have some horsepower. :D VROOM VROOM

RE: Thanks for Retraction
By Darkefire on 3/25/2008 3:25:01 PM , Rating: 3
It's always amusing to see a global-warming advocate foaming at the mouth as they repeat the same story over and over again. Never mind that there are other greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide. Never mind that we only have accurate worldwide temperature data for about the last 150 years at best. Never mind that the rough records of carbon dioxide runs roughly 800,000 years out of the Earth's 4 billion year history. Never mind that the Earth's average temperature has fluctuated enormously throughout that history with nary a coal plant in sight. Nope, you've got it all figured out: CO2 is to blame, humans are causing it, and we're all going to die a horrible fiery death if we don't immediately stop driving cars, turn off all our appliances, and start hugging trees.

How about instead of wasting all our time whining and wheedling about something that even global-warming advocates have said is "irreversible" you put some of that energy into reducing pollution. You know, the kind of stuff we used to see on Captain Planet? Many newly industrializing nations are producing enormous amounts of waste (including, yes, CO2) which pose a severe threat to the environment, and if left unchecked there won't be much of a planet to feel the effects of global warming. And even if you're right, that human-contributed CO2 is creating global-warming, what do you propose to do about it? Alternative energy sources are still economically unfeasible and years away from being so, fossil fuel resources are still in incredibly high demand, and all that energy we rely on for food, water, communication, and the computers you use to spout inane dribble on internet forums has to come from somewhere. Maybe instead of burning fossil fuels, we should just put all the global-warming people on treadmills to power the world. Or just kill off some of the surplus population, all those people breathing in Africa and creating CO2 aren't really needed, are they?

We can all agree the world is warming up, but we can't agree that humans are causing it. And in the absence of any solutions that make economical or logical sense, I will continue to drive my fuel-efficient car, turn off the lights when I leave a room, not leave the TV on all day, and generally do the kinds of energy-conserving things that we should be emphasizing. Because common sense should always be a better motivator than fear.

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