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  1. 27 Jan '14 22:13 / 5 edits
    http://phys.org/news/2014-01-advances-quest-superconducting-materials.html

    by the way, that top picture in that link looks very suspiciously to me to look exactly like an aerial photo of an ocean/lake surface complete with waves and a flock of white birds over it all pointing the same way and yet it says at the bottom of that picture that it is:

    “...This is Minghu Pan's image of "clover-like" atomic defects -- an example is circled -- that result in strong superconductivity....”

    -and what they say that is "circled" looks exactly like a bird flying with its wings stretched out and it flying towards the top right corner of that picture. You can also clearly see their white tails and wings. Some of these 'birds' though look ghost-like or possibly be distorted reflections of the birds flying above or even be under water.
    What do you think of that? could they be taking us for fools?
  2. 28 Jan '14 10:19
    Although I see the illusion of birds flying over water that you are referring too, there are a several reasons to believe it is not.
    There is no perspective ie objects at the top of the screen are no smaller than those at the bottom, so at best you are looking at an aerial photo taken looking straight down. But this does not fit with the shapes of the 'birds' which looks like you are viewing them from an angle.
    The ridges or 'waves' look very much like a typical microscope type picture and not like waves on a lake.
  3. 28 Jan '14 10:25 / 7 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Although I see the illusion of birds flying over water that you are referring too, there are a several reasons to believe it is not.
    There is no perspective ie objects at the top of the screen are no smaller than those at the bottom, so at best you are looking at an aerial photo taken looking straight down. But this does not fit with the shapes of the ' ...[text shortened]... s or 'waves' look very much like a typical microscope type picture and not like waves on a lake.
    LOL. I agree with some of your points. I didn't really seriously think they would try and pass off a picture of birds as a microscopic picture of a superconductor! 🙂
    It would be funny if they did though.

    There is no perspective ie objects at the top of the screen are no smaller than those at the bottom,

    but surely you wouldn't notice any size difference between the objects if the camera took the picture with a zoom lens with it focused at, say, 45 degrees from the vertical but at just a very narrow field of vision involving far greater distances distance between the camera and that bit of ocean than the distance of the width of that bit ocean completely in the view of that picture because that would mean the objects nearer to you would only appear imperceptible smaller than those farther away? I mean, if, for example, the picture was taken using a telescope form an aircraft a km up but at 45 degree angle, you certainly wouldn't see the size difference between the objects!

    But I believe you are right about those 'waves' looking very much like a typical microscope type picture. Not sure but I also think they look very slightly too regular in spacing and shape compared with natural water waves albeit not regular enough for me not to buy them being real water waves.

    In fact, without the benefit of hindsight, the only thing that would make me really suspicious about this picture of 'birds over water' would be some of the images of the 'birds' appear either blurred or incomplete or both and I cannot quite make that visually fit with when I try and imagine that due to reflections of them in the water nor with them diving under water like some bird species do. -it somehow just doesn't look quite right.
  4. 28 Jan '14 12:36
    Originally posted by humy
    but surely you wouldn't notice any size difference between the objects if the camera took the picture with a zoom lens with it focused at, say, 45 degrees from the vertical but at just a very narrow field of vision involving far greater distances distance between the camera and that bit of ocean than the distance of the width of that bit ocean completely in the ...[text shortened]... m up but at 45 degree angle, you certainly wouldn't see the size difference between the objects!
    Can you find any sample pictures to demonstrate this?
  5. 28 Jan '14 12:42
    Actually if you google images "birds over water" you will find quite a number of images strikingly similar.

    Have a look at this one.
    http://www.filemagazine.com/thecollection/archives/2009/04/birds_over_wate.html
  6. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    28 Jan '14 14:59
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Actually if you google images "birds over water" you will find quite a number of images strikingly similar.

    Have a look at this one.
    http://www.filemagazine.com/thecollection/archives/2009/04/birds_over_wate.html
    A bit out of focus but it shows the similarity anyway.

    So when ARE we going to see room temp superconductors anyway?, isn't it about frigging time for a breakthrough?
  7. 28 Jan '14 16:28
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Actually if you google images "birds over water" you will find quite a number of images strikingly similar.

    Have a look at this one.
    http://www.filemagazine.com/thecollection/archives/2009/04/birds_over_wate.html
    That's a weird one.
  8. 28 Jan '14 16:34 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    A bit out of focus but it shows the similarity anyway.

    So when ARE we going to see room temp superconductors anyway?, isn't it about frigging time for a breakthrough?
    I don't think anybody can yet rationally have a clue to the answer to those questions because no one yet really has a clear understanding of how high temperature superconductivity works and, without that knowledge, it is impossible to asses if even room temperature is even possible short of actually physically demonstrating it. For all we know, the laws of physics contrive in such a way to make it forever impossible. Even if it is possible, I doubt very much there will be any breakthrough soon because I don't see any hint of that but I desperately hope to be proven wrong about that.
    I would just love to hear about some massive breakthrough tomorrow about some cheap material made from only common earth elements (else its implications may prove to be not so exciting ) that has been proven to superconduct at plus 25C (as high as 70C would be nice ) -what a massive technological revolution that would be! That would be a wonderful game changer.
  9. 28 Jan '14 17:01
    Originally posted by humy
    I don't think anybody can yet rationally have a clue to the answer to those questions because no one yet really has a clear understanding of how high temperature superconductivity works and, without that knowledge, it is impossible to asses if even room temperature is even possible short of actually physically demonstrating it. For all we know, the laws of phys ...[text shortened]... -what a massive technological revolution that would be! That would be a wonderful game changer.
    Even though it is true that high-Tc-superconductivity is not well-understood at the moment, there is no particular physical significance of "room temperature." Hence, I would be quite surprised if room temperature superconductivity could not be reached at some point in the future.
  10. 28 Jan '14 18:32 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Even though it is true that high-Tc-superconductivity is not well-understood at the moment, there is no particular physical significance of "room temperature." Hence, I would be quite surprised if room temperature superconductivity could not be reached at some point in the future.
    I hope you are right. But if you are right then I think there has to be an explanation of why the best minds have so far completely failed to find or make a superconductor work anywhere near room temperature despite huge effort to do so and despite many materials that have been discovered to superconduct. I mean, I cannot help wonder why, so far, has it proven so hard to do this if not because it is impossible? Is it really just because nobody understands exactly what causes high temperature superconductivity? I can easily imagine it to be because of this reason but I also can just as easily imagine it to be because a room temperature one is impossible.
  11. 28 Jan '14 19:31
    Originally posted by humy
    I hope you are right. But if you are right then I think there has to be an explanation of why the best minds have so far completely failed to find or make a superconductor work anywhere near room temperature despite huge effort to do so and despite many materials that have been discovered to superconduct. I mean, I cannot help wonder why, so far, has it proven ...[text shortened]... son but I also can just as easily imagine it to be because a room temperature one is impossible.
    There is simply no adequate theory to describe them, which makes engineering new materials much harder. Strongly interacting many-body systems are notoriously difficult to describe theoretically (which is good, because it provides me with work).
  12. 28 Jan '14 21:52 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    There is simply no adequate theory to describe them, which makes engineering new materials much harder. Strongly interacting many-body systems are notoriously difficult to describe theoretically (which is good, because it provides me with work).
    Are you implying that what causes this might be so subtle and complex that it is beyond the comprehension of even the greatest human minds? If so, I have actually considered this possibility! If that is so, we would have to wait for an AI singularity and AIs with vastly greater intellect than our own so that they can comprehend it for us and then tell us if room temperature superconductors are possible and, if so, what is their chemical and structural molecular formulas.
    Unfortunately, that would also mean we can almost rule out discovering room temperature superconductors any time soon as this would be very unlikely.
  13. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    29 Jan '14 11:08
    Originally posted by humy
    Are you implying that what causes this might be so subtle and complex that it is beyond the comprehension of even the greatest human minds? If so, I have actually considered this possibility! If that is so, we would have to wait for an AI singularity and AIs with vastly greater intellect than our own so that they can comprehend it for us and then tell us if roo ...[text shortened]... e out discovering room temperature superconductors any time soon as this would be very unlikely.
    I think humans will get there, albeit with help from high powered computers but not some advance AI system. When you are contemplating Exaflop computers, they can simulate reactions that can speed up research by a million times over just mixing X chemical at Y pressure and so forth ad nauseam.
  14. 29 Jan '14 14:13
    Originally posted by humy
    Are you implying that what causes this might be so subtle and complex that it is beyond the comprehension of even the greatest human minds? If so, I have actually considered this possibility! If that is so, we would have to wait for an AI singularity and AIs with vastly greater intellect than our own so that they can comprehend it for us and then tell us if roo ...[text shortened]... e out discovering room temperature superconductors any time soon as this would be very unlikely.
    No, I'm just saying it's a difficult problem.
  15. 29 Jan '14 15:30
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I think humans will get there, albeit with help from high powered computers but not some advance AI system. When you are contemplating Exaflop computers, they can simulate reactions that can speed up research by a million times over just mixing X chemical at Y pressure and so forth ad nauseam.
    I think it should be possible to do many experiments in actual practice via automated processes. For example using automated machinery to make alloys of different mixtures of metal in vast quantities each with a slightly different mixture then testing each sample for electrical conductivity, heat conductivity, and the various aspects of strength etc.
    On could presumably do something similar with doping, make a machine that dopes strips of material with different dopants in different quantities and then test each strip for superconductivity etc.