May 31, 2020

Room Temperature Superconductor Breakthrough at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

An international team of researchers has discovered the hydrogen atoms in a metal hydride material are much more tightly spaced than had been predicted for decades — a feature that could possibly facilitate superconductivity at or near room temperature and pressure.

Such a superconducting material, carrying electricity without any energy loss due to resistance, would revolutionize energy efficiency in a broad range of consumer and industrial applications.

The scientists conducted neutron scattering experiments at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory on samples of zirconium vanadium hydride at atmospheric pressure and at temperatures from −450 degrees Fahrenheit (5 K) to as high as −10 degrees Fahrenheit (250 K) — much higher than the temperatures where superconductivity is expected to occur in these conditions.

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