Explained | Why a room-temperature superconductor paper is turning so many heads

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Source: The post is based on the article “Explained | Why a room-temperature superconductor paper is turning so many heads” published in The Hindu on 14th March 2023

What is the News?

Researchers at the University of Rochester have created a new superconductor material called “Reddmatter”.

What is a room-temperature Superconductor?

Superconductors transmit electrical currents without resistance, which means no energy lost as electricity is sent from point A to point B. 

But today’s superconductors require extremely cold temperatures and high pressures to work, making them impractical anywhere outside special laboratories.

If they could operate at room temperature, superconducting materials would no longer be relegated to the experimental realm and could be incorporated into the world’s energy infrastructure.

But ever since superconductivity was discovered in 1911, science has not been able to crack the code on room-temperature superconductivity.

What have the researchers created now?

Researchers have created a new superconductor material called “Red Matter”. It was formed by combining lutetium (a rare earth metal) with hydrogen and nitrogen.

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What are the questions raised over this discovery?

Researchers have inferred that the material’s electrical resistance had dropped to zero by collecting resistance data and then subtracting the contributions from sources other than the material. 

The validity of this procedure has to be carefully ascertained; some experts have already expressed an inclination to outright reject the technique as being completely unfounded.

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