Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Getting warmer: UT Knoxville researchers uncover information on new superconductors

30.05.2008
The world of physics is on fire about a new kind of superconductor, and a group of researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory led by physicist Pengcheng Dai are in the middle of the heat.

The excitement centers around a new class of high-temperature superconductors -- initially discovered in February and March by Japanese and Chinese researchers -- and the effort to learn more about them. Dai and his team published major new findings about the materials in this week's online edition of the leading scientific journal Nature.

For more than 20 years, scientists have struggled to understand the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductors. The materials move electricity with incredible efficiency -- something that, if fully understood and controlled, could have a major impact on energy use around the world. Their impact could be felt in a variety of ways, from how we transmit electricity into homes to how we power the massive machines used in industry.

Conventional superconductors only possess the property at incredibly cold temperatures -- far too cold for widespread practical use, which is what drives the search for materials that are superconductors at higher temperatures.

When research showed that the new materials could be superconductors at higher temperatures than any conventional superconductors recorded -- 43 Kelvin -- Dai shifted his research group into high gear, contacting colleagues in China to send samples to him.

"When I saw [the superconducting temperature] hit 43K," said Dai, a UT Knoxville-ORNL joint faculty member, "I called and said, 'Send them over.' The sample arrived at UT that Friday. Clarina [de la Cruz, the study's lead author] went to Maryland that night, and ORNL the next week."

De la Cruz, the study's lead author and a postdoctoral researcher in Dai's lab and ORNL, was at the campus of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in less than 12 hours, using an instrument that bombards the material with neutrons to learn more about its characteristics. Part of the research also was conducted at ORNL's High Flux Isotope Reactor a few days later.

What de la Cruz and Dai found was that the new materials share a common trait with another class of high-temperature superconductors -- when the materials are doped to become superconducting, they lose their static magnetism.

It's a trait that that Dai and his team have studied extensively in superconductors known as cuprates, and this finding is a step toward showing that there may be a broader significance to the tie between magnetism and superconductivity.

"In our view, it is extremely important to find another example," Dai said. "It is not exactly the same as the cuprates, but it is similar."

The speed with which their research was conducted reflects the competitive nature of superconductivity research, a field which already has led to two Nobel Prizes.

Dai and his research team will continue to analyze the new material, in hopes of finding the common threads that make materials superconductive.

"The hope, the dream of the research is to engineer the process to happen at higher and higher temperatures," he said. The end goal is to be able to harness the unique property at temperatures that do not require incredibly cold and incredibly controlled situations.

Jay Mayfield | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tennessee.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators
14.12.2018 | DOE/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

nachricht In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet
14.12.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>