Docent Juha Tuoriniemi and his research group found that lithium is a superconductor even at ambient pressure, albeit at extremely low temperatures of less than 1/1000 degrees above absolute zero.
The transition temperature was found to be 0.4 mK, lower than the metal had ever been cooled down to previously, which explains why the superconductivity of natural lithium had not been observed in previous studies.
The results of the study demonstrate that lithium is the lightest superconducting metal and, owing to its simplicity, the prototype of all metals; in consequence, this interesting finding is likely to end up in physics textbooks.
Juha Tuoriniemi, Kirsi Juntunen-Nurmilaukas, Johanna Uusvuori, Elias Pentti, Anssi Salmela & Alexander Sebedash:
Superconductivity in Lithium Below 0.4 Millikelvin at Ambient Pressure (Nature, 10 May 2007) http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v447/n7141/index.html
Riikka Hopiavaara | alfa
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