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Team uncovers unconventional superconductivity

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By Roger Snodgrass

An international team of researchers working at Los Alamos published a paper in the scientific journal Nature proposing an “unconventional” approach to superconductivity.

 

The work has emerged from a series of discoveries over the last several years, involving the interplay of traditional cold temperatures and magnetism with a newly identified boundary area governed by quantum physics.

 

Electricity, for all the good it does as a relatively inexpensive form of easily distributed energy is still less than fully efficient.

 

Some 20 percent of electrical energy goes to waste as heat from transmission wires.

 

Superconductivity, a special state of matter in which electrons can move without resistance, promises a sizeable energy dividend, if it can be accomplished at a warmer temperature.

 

Currently, even so-called “high temperature” superconductivity is far from warm. Industrially engineered superconductivity is now practical for some highly specialized purposes like magnetic resonance imaging and particle accelerators, but not for ordinary use.

 


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