Scientists Discovered a Room Temperature SuperconductorEver wanted a flying car? No? How about electricity lines that have zero resistance? Those are just a few of the tamer applications that a room temperature superconductor can be used for. The problem is, room temperature superconductors don't exist. The highest temperature superconductor must be kept at a chilly -110 Centigrade. No superconductors exist that can function at temperatures of 0 Centigrade, where ice could keep them chill.
...Or do they? A team of researchers from the University of Leipzig, Germany have found some tempting evidence suggesting that graphite flake--like those found from pencils--mixed with water have many of the characteristics of a superconductor, even at high temperatures.
At this point, there is no proof that these graphite and water superconductors are, in fact superconductors. But the hints are amazing. During testing, the team discovered that the mixture seems to superconduct up to temperatures of 100 C and beyond.
The testing was done by mixing small, regular shards of graphite with water for 23 hours, then filtering out the powder and letting it dry. When a magnetic field is applied, the shards gain a weak magnetic field. The interesting thing is that the powder retains a field even after the magnet is taken away--either a sign of ferromagnetism or superconductivity. But when they analyzed the field, it resembled that of a superconductor, not that of a magnet.
So far the team haven't been able to show that the material can conduct electricity with zero resistance. Nor have they been able to show that it excludes magnetic field lines. Both of those aspects are critical to superconductivity. And there are as many skeptical of the claim as those supporting it. So far no claims of room temperature superconductivity have panned out.
But if this research proves positive, well, look out world. We have a revolution on our hands.