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  1. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    21 Nov '13 19:26
    http://phys.org/news/2013-11-d-tin-super-material.html

    They call it '100% conduction", seems they are carefully avoiding the S word
  2. 21 Nov '13 22:36
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    http://phys.org/news/2013-11-d-tin-super-material.html

    They call it '100% conduction", seems they are carefully avoiding the S word
    Not only do they claim that it could be “first material to conduct electricity with 100 percent efficiency at the temperatures that computer chips operate” but, along the edges or surfaces of the material, “the electrons will travel without resistance.". Well, by definition, surely that IS room-temperature superconductivity! And yet they don't use the S word which is very suspicious. Surely if they were seriously claiming room-temperature superconductivity, this would be much bigger news!? So I don't know what is going on there but I doubt this could credibly be room-temperature superconductivity. Pity.
  3. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    21 Nov '13 23:20
    OULOriginally posted by humy
    Not only do they claim that it could be “first material to conduct electricity with 100 percent efficiency at the temperatures that computer chips operate” but, along the edges or surfaces of the material, “the electrons will travel without resistance.". Well, by definition, surely that IS room-temperature superconductivity! And yet they don't use the S word ...[text shortened]... t is going on there but I doubt this could credibly be room-temperature superconductivity. Pity.
    My guess is, supposing it works, it might only conduct low currents, maybe microamps, which could explain their wording. They also may be hedging their bets because of patent filings. I can't believe a single layer of that stuff conducting electrons only on the edges like that could carry much current so there would have to be thousands or millions of layers separated by some insulator, maybe a polymer. If you just stacked them up the would probably just lose the whole effect so each layer seems to me would have to be independent from each other and far enough apart to keep electromagnetic interferences from effecting the total conductivity. You notice they say nothing about just how much current each layer conducts and how narrow a ribbon of the stuff could you make before THAT effects the edge conduction scheme. Could be maybe it needs a certain distance from other layers of the same stuff to avoid quenching the whole effect you are trying to achieve.
  4. 21 Nov '13 23:25
    I think it might be that while superconduction might be happening along the edges
    of this materiel.

    The materiel is not itself a superconductor, or even an electrical conductor at all.

    So while (it looks like) superconduction is occurring, the behaviour (and presumably
    applications) for this phenomena are not the same as those of a superconducting
    material.

    Even though a superconductor conducts with zero resistance it does not carry an
    infinite current. The fact that this effect is limited to only the very edge of the
    materiel may mean that this is only useful for creating microcircuits and isn't useful
    for grid power distribution or maglev trains or MRI machines that don't require liquid
    helium to cool them or cheaper and more efficient Tokomak fusion reactors...
    Or all of the other things a true room temperature superconductor would do.

    These edge conduction effects being so thin (approaching 1 dimensional) may well
    not have the same magnetic properties that superconductors have that allow for
    magnetic levitation and locking through eddy currents and magnetic field trapping.

    It looks like an interesting (if true) discovery/development.

    But a true RT Superconductor would be better and more exciting/newsworthy.


    At least that's how I'm reading it. I could very easily be wrong.
  5. 21 Nov '13 23:26
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    My guess is, supposing it works, it might only conduct low currents, maybe microamps, which could explain their wording. They also may be hedging their bets because of patent filings. I can't believe a single layer of that stuff conducting electrons only on the edges like that could carry much current so there would have to be thousands or millions of layer ...[text shortened]... om other layers of the same stuff to avoid quenching the whole effect you are trying to achieve.
    Yeah, my thoughts exactly.
  6. 22 Nov '13 10:39 / 4 edits
    If what you two suspect is true and it might superconduct only at the edges at room temperature and, critically, only with very small currents, although that may not be a great material for most other applications such as transmitting electric power through electric cables or be used to make MRI or the electromagnets of electric motors and generators nor magnetic levitating trains etc, it would surely still be a massive breakthrough for computers! Because, with superconductivity, you only need tiny currents to send signals fast around a microchip! So the constraint of the currents having to be very small wouldn't be a limiting factor there!

    I just hope they know what they are talking about and this isn't just nonsense -it would be really great if this is real room-temperature superconductivity even with those limitations! It would still be a real game-changer for computers.
  7. Standard member adam warlock
    Baby Gauss
    22 Nov '13 11:05
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    http://phys.org/news/2013-11-d-tin-super-material.html

    They call it '100% conduction", seems they are carefully avoiding the S word
    A superconductor, by definition, is not only a material that has 0 resistance to the passage of electric current, it also has some other properties. My guess is that althought this material possesses zero resistance it doesn't possess the other properties to be called a superconductor.
  8. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    22 Nov '13 11:37 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by adam warlock
    A superconductor, by definition, is not only a material that has 0 resistance to the passage of electric current, it also has some other properties. My guess is that althought this material possesses zero resistance it doesn't possess the other properties to be called a superconductor.
    Properties like the rejection of magnetic fields for instance. It looks like this new stuff would have no special magnetic properties outside of what you get with ordinary conductivity, producing a field and such.

    As far as current limits go, if you figure out how to stack thousands of the things together, you might get up to useful current flow. News at 11 I guess.
  9. 22 Nov '13 11:49
    If this material really does have room-temperature superconductivity along its edges, I guess a good name for this new type of superconductivity would be "edge superconductivity".

    Perhaps when they talked about zero electrical resistance of the electrons along the edges, they merely meant very nearly zero electrical resistance?
  10. Standard member adam warlock
    Baby Gauss
    22 Nov '13 12:10
    Originally posted by humy
    If this material really does have room-temperature superconductivity along its edges
    If the edges don't expel magnetic fields, talking about superconductivity is wrong.
  11. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    22 Nov '13 12:19
    Originally posted by humy
    If this material really does have room-temperature superconductivity along its edges, I guess a good name for this new type of superconductivity would be "edge superconductivity".

    Perhaps when they talked about zero electrical resistance of the electrons along the edges, they merely meant very nearly zero electrical resistance?
    The author certainly hinted at true superconductivity sans magnetic effects when he said 100% conduction. It might be he is just Japanese and didn't know how to speak the effect well in English or he knew exactly what he was saying. It seems safe to say it would not be true superconductivity in any event, which is too bad.
  12. 22 Nov '13 12:34 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by adam warlock
    If the edges don't expel magnetic fields, talking about superconductivity is wrong.
    -unless you define it as a new type of superconductivity; one that has some but not all of its properties different from the other types -why not? But that is assuming that the edges really do conduct with zero resistance, which is likely to be false I think. Pity.
  13. Standard member adam warlock
    Baby Gauss
    22 Nov '13 13:19 / 1 edit
    @sonhouse: 100% conduction per se is just the quality of a perfect conductor: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_conductor. I'm assuming that the author is a good enough physicist to know the difference between the two phenomana.

    @humy: Yes you can define it that way but that definition that doesn't make sense. When you're talking about, insultores, conductors, superconductor you're talking about different states of matter. If you drop the resistivity of a material to 0 you'll get a material that doesn't dissipate electric energy, but in no way this material will expell electromagnetic fields. For that to happen you need some "new" physics to happen and this new physics is the signature of new kind of state of matter that is called superconductivity.

    Edit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meissner_effect and I quote "The experiment demonstrated for the first time that superconductors were more than just perfect conductors and provided a uniquely defining property of the superconducting state."
  14. 22 Nov '13 13:29
    Originally posted by humy
    Not only do they claim that it could be “first material to conduct electricity with 100 percent efficiency at the temperatures that computer chips operate” but, along the edges or surfaces of the material, “the electrons will travel without resistance.". Well, by definition, surely that IS room-temperature superconductivity! And yet they don't use the S word wh ...[text shortened]... t is going on there but I doubt this could credibly be room-temperature superconductivity. Pity.
    Actually perfect conductivity and superconductivity are not the same.
  15. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    22 Nov '13 15:41
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Actually perfect conductivity and superconductivity are not the same.
    Discounting magnetic field effects, what is the difference?