Holy Shit! Man Walks on Fucking Superconductor!

This from the University of Rochester seems credible to me (though of course IANAP), and in another sense absolutely, positively incredible. Someone has created a “room temperature superconductor” – though a rather cool room, by USA standards, at 14.5/58 degrees.

Obviously it’s a one-off. Like Apollo 11 was not the start of lunar tourism, this breakthrough is not the beginning of superconducting electromagnets powering your car. Still, you can’t get to lunar tourism without an Apollo 11, and you can’t get to cars & kids toys with superconducting electromagnets without work like that of the University of Rochester.

The high expense and low-repeatability of this experiment seems not to be luck, though (again, IANAP). This isn’t a situation where they’re not quite sure how they succeeded. Instead what makes their solution so impractical is the fact that the elements they used to create their superconducting compound required the pressure of a diamond anvil – 39 million psi of it – to cause the atoms to reassemble in the proper semi-crystalline structures necessary to produce a superconducting material in the first place. We won’t get far limited to material sizes of less than a centimeter in its largest dimension, but even just doing it once, just doing it this first time, creating a 14.5° C critical temperature superconductor is like walking on the fucking moon.

Holy shit. Well done, Dr. Ranga Dias & team.



  1. Who Cares says

    It isn’t walking on the moon but more on Jupiters core with the pressures needed to get the atoms to rearrange themselves.
    Shame that by using a diamond anvil they couldn’t properly run a mass spectroscopy on it to actually find out what the molecule in question is.

  2. says

    This is seriously amazing. A marvellous proof of concept that will, I hope, lead to an even greater understanding of the physics of superconductivity, and perhaps even to room temperature and pressure superconductors.

    The progress over the last 34 years has been astounding.

  3. lumipuna says

    This is kind of like when Jesus walked on room temperature water (which saw some techno-optimists predicting a widespread adoption of ice fishing in warm climates).

  4. StevoR says

    @ ^ lumipuna :The old joke (?) about someone asking whether they should tell Judas about the sandbar springs to mind..

    My inner pedant notes that water is a solid at supercritical extreme pressures.. Ice X.. a lot~ish.

    Still this superconductor is a hopeful development and I want it to work and work well for all of us. Natch.

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