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kottke.org posts about superconductivity

Tantalizing evidence of room temperature superconductivity

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 12, 2012

Researchers in Germany have found evidence of room temperature superconductivity in graphite powder that has been soaking in water and then dried. Not surprisingly, the results come with a few caveats:

First, this is not a conventional bulk material. The claim from Germany is that the superconductivity occurs at the interface between grains of graphite after they have dried out.

So that’s a surface effect which involves only a tiny fraction of the total mass of carbon in the powder—just 0.0001 per cent of the mass, according to Esquinazi and co.

What’s more the effect is clearly fragile. Esquinazi and co say the superconductivity disappears if the treated powder is pressed into pellets.

So whatever allows the superconductivity to occur at the grain interfaces is destroyed when the grains are pressed together.

I’m pretty sure this is the technology used by the aliens who designed The Machine in Contact.

Quantum levitation!

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 18, 2011

What the what? This video gives a little more explanation into the effect at work here (superconductivity + quantum trapping of the magnetic field in quantum flux tubes) and an awesome demonstration of a crude rail system. You can almost hear your tiny mind explode when the “train” goes upside-down.

Wingardium Leviosa! (via stellar)