Superconductors Research Heats Up

The race is on to find the "holy grail" of superconductor
research – a material which transmits electricity with zero loss at
room temperatures. Such a development would usher in a new era of technology: high
efficiency mag-lev trains, heat-free computers, cheap rail-gun launched
spaceships, zero-loss power lines and portable medical imaging are just
a few inventions awaiting it’s discovery. Some scientists believe it’s just
a matter of getting the right materials together under the right
circumstances, and researchers are plying to be the first to acheive it…
and win the Nobel Prize for physics, a patent worth billions of
dollars, and a high profile interview with

The latest
and greatest materials in the field, nicknamed "high temperature
superconductors", will only operate at temperatures below -140°
Celsius. This may not seem warm to those of us who think of day-old
pizza as "cold",  but it’s a huge improvement over the first
generation of superconductors, which operate just a few degrees above
absolute zero (-273° C).

implications for the environment are clear: superconductors are up to
100 times more compact than their regular counterparts, twice as
efficient, and  lose no energy to heat dissipation. Imagine if the
world’s computers all ran cold to the touch… no fans, no overheating,
and every chip overclocked to the theoretical limit!

Here’s today’s roundup of the latest news in the field: