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Science Forum

  1. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    14 Oct '13 10:54
    http://phys.org/news/2013-10-scientists-computer-designed-superconductor.html

    My question is this: in the quest for room temperature and beyond superconductors, is it even theoretically possible? Could it be beyond the reach of ANY science?
  2. 14 Oct '13 11:53 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    http://phys.org/news/2013-10-scientists-computer-designed-superconductor.html

    My question is this: in the quest for room temperature and beyond superconductors, is it even theoretically possible? Could it be beyond the reach of ANY science?
    That is one of the billion dollar questions and I am afraid the answer is that nobody really knows (yet ) and that will continue until when either :

    1, a room temperature superconductor is actually made and unequivocally empirically verified to superconduct at room temperature

    or

    2, we finally gain complete understanding of how high temperature superconductivity works and deduce from this understanding unequivocally whether room-temperature superconductivity must be possible or must be impossible (and, if and only if it must be possible, I assume it wouldn't be much longer before we achieve 1, )

    As far as I am aware, we are still a long way from achieving either the two above.

    I personally think one of the critical questions that answering would help achieve 2, is;
    Is the reason why we are finding it so hard to understand and model high temperature superconductivity because there is something fundamental missing from our quantum mechanical equations (due to some of our understanding of the laws of quantum physics being fundamentally wrong! If so, then I presume getting it right would require discovering some kind of new kind of quantum physics! ) or is our quantum mechanical equations just fine and the problem is merely that we need to just know how to correctly and effectively apply those equations to high-temperature superconductivity?

    I believe answering that question will narrow down the kind of thing we should be looking for.
  3. 14 Oct '13 16:33
    There's another Nobel Prize waiting for someone who can help answer this question.
  4. 14 Oct '13 19:08
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    My question is this: in the quest for room temperature and beyond superconductors, is it even theoretically possible? Could it be beyond the reach of ANY science?
    Its always harder to rule something out than to show something is possible. Showing something is possible just requires an example, and can sometimes be shown without an example. But ruling something out requires a solid understanding of just about everything that could possibly be involved.