Superconductor Breakthrough

Posted By Darren Winters on Aug 10, 2023

Superconductor Breakthrough

There has been a lot of recent chatter about a superconductor breakthrough, but at this early stage, it would be wise for investors not to dive in headfirst but keep developments on their radar.

The scientific community remains divided as to whether the latest superconductor breakthrough is genuine.

In other words, the superconductor breakthrough could be just hype leaving gullible investors holding the bag.

Alternatively, if the superconductor breakthrough is genuine, then it would have a wide-reaching impact on electricity distribution.  

Supper optimists have gone as far as to say the superconductor breakthrough could usher in a new era for humankind.

Superconductor Breakthrough

South Korean researchers declared in July the discovery of the world’s first room-temperature, ambient-pressure superconductor— a rock-like material known as LK-99. If it does exist, it could reduce the massive amounts of electrical waste we have today and open, in the view of its original researchers, “a new era for humankind.”

But here is the caveat; the findings were not peer-reviewed, and the announcement was first met with scepticism. A paper submitted by researchers at the Peking University in Beijing on Sunday suggests the initial excitement may be overblown. Efforts remain underway to replicate the room-temperature superconductor’s creation. Still, few people understand the significance of discovering it.

Superconductivity is an ability held by a group of materials capable of carrying electrical currents with zero electric resistance.

Conventional metal copper is known to have great conductivity but it still has some resistance, which means copper wires over long distances lose energy known as voltage drop. That is why you have at every distance a box, known as a transformer, at the top of an electric power pole to step up the voltage. 

So a superconductor with zero resistance would transform the electric grid power distribution and impact everything from electric trains to electric autos.    

“Superconductivity is an ability held by a select group of materials capable of carrying electrical currents with zero electrical resistance,” Rod Bateman, magnets development manager at Tokamak Energy Ltd., told Newsweek. “These make for ideal electro-magnet conductors since they can carry the magnet current without overheating, which is crucial for power plant operations.”

The breakthrough of  LK-99, a rock-like material as a superconductor, is that this material works like magic at room temperature, unlike current superconductors that work at unpractical temperatures. 

Quantum Energy Research Center in Seoul describes LK-99, made up of copper, lead, phosphorus and oxygen. According to the researchers, this material can act as a superconductor at temperatures over 126 degrees Celsius, 100 degrees higher than ambient room temperature.

But another school of scientists don’t believe in the superconductor breakthrough. 

“With a great deal of sadness, we now believe that the game is over. LK-99 is NOT a superconductor, not even at room temperatures (or at very low temperatures). It is very highly resistive poor quality material. Period. No point in fighting with the truth. Data have spoken.” said Condensed Matter Theory Center at the University of Maryland, which shared the message on X, formally known as Twitter. 

Superconductor breakthrough short the hype?

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