Sciencescience

Wed Jul 31, 2019, 09:40 PM

Experiments explore the mysteries of 'magic' angle superconductors

I love this stuff. It’s certainly a time of discovery, and this, as far as it is understood, is amazing in its simplicity. I’m interested in this because of our use of ‘rare earths’ in producing energy to run stuff and that we have to look outside our country for (like Afghanistan or China). And the cost savings!

****
Rare Earth Facts
Rare earth elements aren't actually that rare. China is the world's dominant producer of rare earth elements with more than 95% of production. Only one rare earth mine, at Mountain Pass, CA, has ever been developed in the United States.

https://www.wyomingmining.org/minerals/rare-earths/

****

But I digress. Here’s the article:

****
Experiments explore the mysteries of 'magic' angle superconductors

In spring 2018, the surprising discovery of superconductivity in a new material set the scientific community abuzz. Built by layering one carbon sheet atop another and twisting the top one at a "magic" angle, the material enabled electrons to flow without resistance, a trait that could dramatically boost energy efficient power transmission and usher in a host of new technologies.

Now, new experiments conducted at Princeton give hints at how this material—known as magic-angle twisted graphene—gives rise to superconductivity. In this week's issue of the journal Nature, Princeton researchers provide firm evidence that the superconducting behavior arises from strong interactions between electrons, yielding insights into the rules that electrons follow when superconductivity emerges.

"This is one of the hottest topics in physics," said Ali Yazdani, the Class of 1909 Professor of Physics and senior author of the study. "This is a material that is incredibly simple, just two sheets of carbon that you stick one on top of the other, and it shows superconductivity."

Exactly how superconductivity arises is a mystery that laboratories around the world are racing to solve. The field even has a name, "twistronics."

Part of the excitement is that, compared to existing superconductors, the material is quite easy to study since it only has two layers and only one type of atom—carbon.

"The main thing about this new material is that it is a playground for all these kinds of physics that people have been thinking about for the last 40 years," said B. Andrei Bernevig, a professor of physics specializing in theories to explain complex materials.

The superconductivity in the new material appears to work by a fundamentally different mechanism from traditional superconductors, which today are used in powerful magnets and other limited applications. This new material has similarities to copper-based, high-temperature superconductors discovered in the 1980s called cuprates. The discovery of cuprates led to the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1987.

The new material consists of two atomically thin sheets of carbon known as graphene. Also the subject of a Nobel Prize in Physics, in 2010, graphene has a flat honeycomb pattern, like a sheet of chicken wire. In March 2018, Pablo Jarillo-Herrero and his team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology placed a second layer of graphene atop the first, then rotated the top sheet by the "magic" angle of about 1.1 degrees. This angle had been predicted earlier by physicists to cause new electron interactions, but it came as a shock when MIT scientists demonstrated superconductivity.
-more-

https://m.phys.org/news/2019-07-explore-mysteries-magic-angle-superconductors.html

****

What a door this could open!!!

****

Why the Discovery of Room-Temperature Superconductors Would Unleash Amazing Technologies

Superconductors are among the most bizarre and exciting materials yet discovered. Counterintuitive quantum-mechanical effects mean that, below a critical temperature, they have zero electrical resistance. This property alone is more than enough to spark the imagination.

A current that could flow forever without losing any energy means transmission of power with virtually no losses in the cables. When renewable energy sources start to dominate the grid and high-voltage transmission across continents becomes important to overcome intermittency, lossless cables will result in substantial savings.

What’s more, a superconducting wire carrying a current that never, ever diminishes would act as a perfect store of electrical energy. Unlike batteries, which degrade over time, if the resistance is truly zero, you could return to the superconductor in a billion years and find that same old current flowing through it. Energy could be captured and stored indefinitely!

With no resistance, a huge current could be passed through the superconducting wire and, in turn, produce magnetic fields of incredible power.

You could use them to levitate trains and produce astonishing accelerations, thereby revolutionizing the transport system. You could use them in power plants—replacing conventional methods which spin turbines in magnetic fields to generate electricity—and in quantum computers as the two-level system required for a “qubit,” in which the zeros and ones are replaced by current flowing clockwise or counterclockwise in a superconductor.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/singularityhub.com/2018/05/13/the-search-for-high-temperature-superconductors/amp/

****

I’ve seen incredible changes and advancement in technology during my lifetime that were unthinkable as a child. I am a Science Illiterate. The things kids are taught today make the 50s and 60s look like the Dark Ages.

How amazing! And how long will it take humanity turn it into something to kill each other with?

0 replies, 86 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Sciencescience