Warming Up to Superconductivity
A recent breakthrough in superconductivity led by a Canadian-German team has aimed to create a superconductor that can function at room temperature. Currently superconductors are only able to function at very low temperatures -- near absolute zero for copper and at the low "critical temperature" for other metals such as tin and aluminum. Incredibly, a superconductor functioning at its prime capacity can maintain a continuous electric current indefinitely without a power source, creating zero friction, or loosing heat. This technology is currently being used in MRI machines and in the magnets that allow high-speed trains to float above their tracks.
The team led by John Tse and doctoral candidate Yansun Yao, have produced the first scientific proof that a superconductor can be created from hydrogen compounds known as hydrides or “silane, which is the silicon analog of methane -- combining a single silicon atom with four hydrogen atoms to form a molecular hydride”.Story via Slashdot Image via Creative Commons: "Electricity" by pittaya on Flickr Image via Creative Commons: "When the sun sets, electricity takes over" by jalalspages on Flicker