apemint avatar

The entire story surrounding this discovery is a scientific rollercoaster ride, with rogue scientists, updated papers, plus cloudy definitions and process descriptions within the paper that make replication efforts more difficult, and even a Russian soil scientist (and anime catgirl) deconstructing the original Korean paper to unveil the trademark levitation of the Meissner effect over her own kitchen counter.

I can't believe they just dropped all this without any explanation. XD

jon avatar

You can't just put anime catgirl in parenthesis and move on like nothing happened!

lemonflavoured avatar

They can, and they will!


My working knowledge of this entire situation stems from this Substack post, which gives slightly more info than what you quoted and kind of explains the anime catgirl


Reading the article does not make me any more confident that this claim is real and accurate. Especially when other replication efforts have failed.

It really does feel like this is a data and testing anomaly and not a real breakthrough.


Overview of ongoing tests: …spacebattles.com/…/claims-of-room-temperature-an…

Two teams in India and China could not reproduce:

Source: Heise

lemonflavoured avatar

If this is confirmed then it's definitely interesting, but I'm skeptical that it's going to be scalable even if it's real.

00 avatar

Even if LK-99 isnt scalable or viable but simply works sometimes under certain circumstances as a room temperature superconductor, it would be a big jump. Not only would it prove that room temperature superconductors are viable, it could be the first step in developing better alternatives to LK-99.

@Amir@lemmy.ml avatar

I wonder if in 5 years from now we’ll look back at this invention as one of the biggest breakthroughs in decades.


Everyone will have their own lemmy instance hosted on their smartwatch.


I hope so. Room temperature superconductivity would make so many things economically viable overnight...


can I get an ELI5 on why?

LegendofDragoon avatar

Well, a superconductor as the name might imply is a super conductor, meaning electricity flows very well through it with negligible resistance. This means generators of all types can be placed further away from where people are, especially renewables, like geothermal or offshore wind/water farms.

There's also the possibility of commercial mag-lev that could revolutionize high speed rail.

Itty53 avatar

Right now a lot of the electricity we send from A to B gets lost as heat energy, among other sciency shit. So for every watt of power you use, it takes more than that to get it to you. You're phone heats up because of this. Computers all require ventilation and heat sinks because of this. LED screens are even warm and they're meant to be as not warm as possible.

Super conductors at room temperature addresses that fundamental problem of moving electricity.

This doesn't even touch the magnet factor. Super conducting magnets can levitate. This is literal cars without wheels territory. Maglev roads. Railgun shuttle launches. The abundance of the materials one question is also highly promising. We're not talking rare earth.

If this is true it's the biggest discovery since the transistor, no sweat.

dandan avatar

No one's mentioned this yet, but more powerful electromagnets, which could mean more of a chance to get a fusion reactor working.

Spiracle, (edited )
Spiracle avatar

Super simple ELI5:

  • Electronics (computers/phones/laptops etc) work by running electricity through stuff ("conductors").

  • While moving, the electricity "bumps" into stuff on the way. That’s bad, and only the reason electronics get warm. Electric energy is turned into heat instead of doing its job.

  • In a _super_conductor, electricity does not bump into stuff. Everything works smoothly, no waste heat. Batteries would last longer. Heat damage would no longer be (as much) a concern. Basically, all-around better.

The warmest current conductor I’ve read about only worked at below -27 °C, I think, and needed huge pressure, like on the ocean floor. Others work at surface pressure but require even lower temps.

Benefits of safe, cheaply mass-produced, room-temperature, [EDIT: and workable] surface-pressure superconductors:

  • Massively better battery life of everything.

  • Much, much more efficient use of anything that needs electricity, reducing cost of everything that needs electricity.

  • Extremely efficient energy transfer (power lines etc can lose a lot of energy on the way), making electricity itself cheaper.

  • Some inventions are suddenly much more feasible (Maglev trains and hoverboards are examples I’ve seen mentioned, but don’t ask me about the science behind that.)

  • Electronics can become smaller, yet again. It would probably make Smartwatches and "Spatial Computing" devices more feasible.

EDIT: Based on one YT video, I’ll add that the material also needs to be able to worked into various forms and solid/stable enough not to crumble over time. Apparently, there are some technically great superconductors already, but they crumble apart or lose their superconductor status if electricity flows through them the wrong way, or something, making them useless.

@Amir@lemmy.ml avatar

Superconductors basically means you can run your PC’s processor at 1% of its current energy draw. So now take a mobile phone processor, recreate it with superconductors, and you suddenly have a device that can do a massive amount of computations for years on a single AA battery

1chemistdown avatar

Not just that, but you also have things like MRI, CT, and PET imaging in the medical world that would suddenly not need liquid helium and nitrogen for operation. Scientific instruments like NMR and high resolution FT-MS machines will stop using all the liquid helium and nitrogen. It will save are rapidly disappearing helium resources and allow for that to be used for other things.

Then there is mass transit that can be developed. The list goes on.


Simple energy transmission. A room-temp superconductor has the potential to fundamentally change the entire electrical grid if it were even remotely scalable.

It's hard to overstate how immensely expensive and complex energy transmission currently is.

JWBananas avatar

You aren't going to heat something to 127 °C with an AA battery.

RoboRay avatar

Most people don't consider 127 °C to be room temperature.

JWBananas avatar

"Room temperature" in this context means "above 0 °C".

RoboRay, (edited )
RoboRay avatar

Correct. So why are you concerned with it not working at well over boiling water temperatures? This is about a room temperature superconductor. 127 °C is not room temperature.

paper_clip avatar

The 127C is the critical temperature. With other superconductors, if you get the material below the critical temperature, its starts superconducting. From the descriptions I've seen, the meaning of critical temperature is the same with this material, so it should superconduct at 23C just fine, presuming it is a superconductor.

nicetriangle avatar

Would majorly increase the efficiency of electricity transmission and also computer processors and other electronics and also all sorts of applications we have for very strong magnets.

Super conductive materials have essentially zero electrical resistance but until now we've only been able to make materials super conductive in extreme cold and/or under extreme pressure. Resistance is responsible for the heat processors and other electronics generate. It also majorly caps how far and how much electricity you can transmit over a given distance without a lot of wasted electricity or the lines overheating and failing.

Would have huge implications for energy infrastructure and generally just making a ton of the electrical devices we use much much more efficient.

Also they can be incredibly strong electromagnets and would really beef up our maglev tech for things like trains. They also have a lot of utility for quantum computing. You could expect to see computing power across the board to skyrocket in the coming years if this is for real.

Pretty exciting. It would really be one of the most groundbreaking developments in materials science and I guess you would say physics in a while.


Sort of problematic it's made of lead though.

artillect avatar

Not problematic as long as you don’t go around eating electronics


3mA per conductor though? You’d need a lot of strands to make a power line.


Oh man! The movie is going to be awesome.

wagesj45 avatar

I hope that get Cillian Murphy to do The Stare™.

NecoArcKbinAccount avatar

I've heard that fusion reactors become slightly more viable with room temperature superconductors, is that true or no?

@HumbleHobo@beehaw.org avatar

I think most everything is better with superconductors, because there’s less worry about stray electricity or heat causing unnecessary failures.

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