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Physicists made a superconductor that works at room temperature. It could one day give rise to high-speed floating trains.



When squeezed between two diamonds, a material made of carbon, sulfur, and hydrogen can become a superconductor. J. Adam Fenster/University of Rochester


© J. Adam Fenster/University of Rochester
When squeezed between two diamonds, a material made of carbon, sulfur, and hydrogen can become a superconductor. J. Adam Fenster/University of Rochester

  • Superconductors are materials that effortlessly conduct electricity.
  • Until now, they’ve only worked at temperatures of minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • But researchers recently found a superconductor that works at ambient temperatures when under immense pressure. They’re now trying to make it work without that pressure.
  • Widespread superconductors could give rise to high-speed floating trains, super-powered computers, and very cheap electricity.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Superconductors – materials that transport electricity with no energy lost – have until now only worked at extremely cold temperatures, from about -100 degrees Fahrenheit to the near-absolute zero of space. But this month, that changed.

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In a study published October 14, a team of researchers described a superconductor they engineered, which works at

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Physicists keep trying to break the rules of gravity but this supermassive black hole just said ‘no’

 

A new test of Albert Einstein‘s theory of general relativity has proved the iconic physicist right again — this time by re-analyzing the famous first-ever picture of a black hole , which was released in April 2019.

That image of the supermassive black hole at the center of galaxy M87 was the first direct observation of a black hole’s shadow — the imprint of the event horizon, a sphere around the black hole’s singularity from which no light can escape. Einstein’s theory predicts the size of the event horizon based on the mass of the black hole; and in April 2019, it was already clear that the shadow fits general relativity’s prediction pretty well. 

But now, using a new technique to analyze the image, the researchers who made the picture showed just how well the shadow fits the theory. The answer: 500 times better than any test of relativity

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