New property in warm superconductors discovered

Nov 17, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Led by Simon Fraser University physicist Jeff Sonier, scientists at TRIUMF have discovered something that they think may severely hinder the creation of room-temperature (37 degrees Celsius) superconductors.

For 25 years, they’ve speculated that magnetism could be a problem.

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has published the finding that there is a weak magnetism in a certain type of lanthanum-based copper oxide material, which is the closest known warm-temperature superconductor.

Sonier, the lead scientist in this research, says: “The search for room-temperature is big news. The cover story of the June 2010 issue of Scientific American predicted the discovery would be one of the ‘12 events that will change everything.’”

Superconductors, materials that have zero electrical resistance, could potentially drive ever day devices in electronics, medicine and transportation, but are super expensive because they only operate at extremely low temperatures. If were operational at room temperature they wouldn’t need to be driven by expensive cooling systems using liquid helium.

When charge carriers are added to copper oxide materials, known as cuprates, they are capable of superconductivity. Some cuprates function at -140 degrees Celsius, a temperature markedly above -240 degrees Celsius, which is the normal operational temperature of all other kinds of superconducting materials.

Adding charge carriers (electric charge carrying particle) is known as chemical doping. With increased chemical doping the operational temperature of a cuprate superconductor rises to a certain point and then collapses.

Until this latest research, scientists could only speculate on whether a competing magnetic phase might exist during high chemical doping and ultimately destroy their superconductivity.

Sonier and his colleagues used a subatomic particle, called a muon, to microscopically probe the magnetic nature of a cuprate. This led them to discover that a strange kind of magnetism appears to accompany the destruction of superconductivity during high chemical doping.

The scientists are now trying to figure out the origin of the magnetism and whether it actually competes with superconductivity.

Sonier says, “Understanding what destroys superconductivity during high chemical doping could provide a vital clue about the microscopic mechanism responsible for high-temperature superconductivity. Knowledge of this would be a monumental step toward making a room-temperature superconductor.”

Explore further: Finding the 'heart' of an obstacle to superconductivity

More information: Direct search for a ferromagnetic phase in a heavily overdoped nonsuperconducting copper oxide, PNAS October 5, 2010 vol. 107 no. 40 17131-17134, doi:10.1073/pnas.1007079107

Provided by Simon Fraser University

4.8 /5 (22 votes)

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User comments : 41

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KwasniczJ
1.2 / 5 (19) Nov 17, 2010
Recently the traces of superconductive behavior at -8 °C were observed - the purity of material is the problem here.

http://www.superc...265K.htm
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (5) Nov 17, 2010
room-temperature (37 degrees Celsius)
That's not room temperature; that's normal human body temperature.

Room temperature would be more like 20 degrees C.
Ethelred
1 / 5 (1) Nov 18, 2010
37 Celsius is room temperature in my room during the summer, unless I turn on air-conditioning.

Not everyone lives in England where room temperature beer is well below 20C. I think even Brits might not like California Room temperature beer. What do I know, I can't stand beer at any temperature.

Ethelred
DamienS
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 18, 2010
37 Celsius is room temperature in my room during the summer, unless I turn on air-conditioning.
Not everyone lives in England where room temperature beer is well below 20C.

While I suspect your comment is tongue in cheek, room temperature is generally accepted to be around 20-21C.

And yes, room temperature beer (or near) is an abomination!
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Nov 18, 2010
While I suspect your comment is tongue in cheek


Only sort of. Everything I said was based on reality. In Britain room temperature beer is rather a bit colder than Americans think of as room temperature. And my room temperature tends high as I am over the water heater.

Mainly my point is that Standard Temperature and Pressure isn't going to cut it. 20 degrees C will NOT do for power lines coming across the American Desert. Even across France for that matter.

How would you like to spend time and money on room temperature superconducting lines and have a heat wave that causes the 60,000 volt line into a major city quench and destroy the cable? Somewhat like what happened with the LHC.

Ethelred
xamien
not rated yet Nov 18, 2010
You have both made valid points, but let's remember how it expensive it is to cool these superconductors now, versus how easy it would be to cool down a RT superconductor, even in the high desert. Even if absolute reliability were required in the desert, the lines could still be chilled with cheap refrigerants (solid CO2?), possibly even in a passive manner.
KwasniczJ
1 / 5 (19) Nov 18, 2010
Johan F. Prins anounced room/human temperature superconductivity before many years already.

http://www.iop.or...8/3/319/
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 18, 2010
He only claimed evidence for superconduction in the paper. He hasn't convinced anyone, anyone with money anyway, that he has done what he said. He said he can't give details until patents are straightened out.

However what he described simply doesn't seem feasible. As in just how useful is superconduction on the surface of a diamond. He worked for DeBeers at the time. And I have yet to see a sign of THEM getting involved.

You must be another Zephyr double login. Only he and Prins post that. I like Prins ideas on QM but he has some serious convincing to do on both that and superconduction.

Ethelred
Ethelred
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 18, 2010
Never mind he IS another Zephyr login. He just lied a lot on his profile.

Doesn't that bother you at all to lie so much? With scruples like those you can't be trusted on anything.

Ethelred
KwasniczJ
1 / 5 (19) Nov 18, 2010
He hasn't convinced anyone, anyone with money anyway
This is the same argument, like the claim, Galileo hasn't convinced pope - so he was indeed crackpot...;-) The religious approach of yours is solely based on author's reputation, not the actual content of his work. This is not, what the science is about - this is an example of medieval thinking, instead.

The details of Prins's work are presented in the publications presented, which was peer-reviewed. So it's just you, who is lying here, when you're claiming, his work didn't convinced anybody.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (5) Nov 18, 2010
@Ethelred,

Even in the hottest deserts, all you have to do is dig a couple of meters down into the ground, and you'll be well below room temp (20 C). Buried power lines may be initially more expensive to construct, but they're more reliable (less susceptible to natural disasters, as well as deliberate vandalism/sabotage by humans.)
Ethelred
1 / 5 (1) Nov 19, 2010
You have a point. Sabotage would still be easy. One pipe drilled down and some heated water. Also earthquake prone so there would have to be above ground sections at known faults. Also the copper oxide superconductors REALLY have a problem with water.

Ethelred
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Nov 19, 2010
This is the same argument, like the claim, Galileo hasn't convinced pope - so he was indeed crackpot
Since I didn't call him a crackpot why are you?
Straw man from a double login? Such a surprise.

Nice Renascence thinking you used there, Galileo was a master of the Straw Man. See Simplicio.
http://www.calsta...ogue.htm

Try a real debate tactic, like showing some sign that Dr. Prins has financial support. Which is all I was pointing out.
The details of Prins's work are presented in the publications presented, which was peer-reviewed.
Ah. this time I can read the whole thing without paying $30. Despite it saying that I have to. Odd, that is.

In the mean time I think it is very significant that the people that payed for the research, DeBeers, didn't seem to find it compelling enough to put money on.
So it's just you, who is lying here, when you're claiming, his work didn't convinced anybody.


More
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 19, 2010
Part 2

There is ONE person citing him in an article about superconduction. At 12.6 degrees Kelvin. So no he wasn't convinced about room temperature. The other three are Dr. Prins and two people that were looking into diamond-boron aggregates.

Lying is for life, death and a good joke. I can make mistakes but I don't lie here as it just adds noise to the Universe. However you started the lies when made your profile so you have no integrity at all.

Even the full article by Dr. Prins doesn't show actual experimental evidence for superconduction. It does a LOT of supposing based on a few assumptions. Sorry but spinning webs of supposition without actual experiments showing the suppositions correct just isn't good science.

He claims at one point to have a superconducting channel BUT the current, at fractional milliamp levels, doesn't flow till the voltage is 420V either positive or negative. While interesting that is not superconduction. Not even close.

More
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 19, 2010
Last part

Basically he is simply assuming superconduction and does NO experiments there to show a sign of it.

Now on his site he is offering to sell testing samples suitable for chip design and claims superconduction. But then he does so in that paper as well and it just isn't there.

He is VERY touchy on his site. Going off the handle at polite posters. Even worse than he does with you.

I happen to like his wave theory ideas but then I don't have the background to evaluate them and he REALLY acts like a crank. I found one thread:

http://www.nature...390.html

Where two of our favorite posters were Cranking away at science.
Oliver Manuel
Johan F. Prins

They all to write the same way. Exactly like cranks. I do wish Prins would stop that. Oliver deserves whatever derision he gets as he has NO evidence to support his silly claims that the Sun has an iron core.

Prins MIGHT be right but he pushes every crank button available.

Ethelred
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) Nov 19, 2010
37 Celsius is room temperature in my room during the summer, unless I turn on air-conditioning.
Not everyone lives in England where room temperature beer is well below 20C.

While I suspect your comment is tongue in cheek, room temperature is generally accepted to be around 20-21C.

And yes, room temperature beer (or near) is an abomination!

Don't knock it until you try it. And stop drinking piss water that Americans call beer.

KwasniczJ=Zephyr
DamienS
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 19, 2010
Don't knock it until you try it. And stop drinking piss water that Americans call beer.

I feel qualified to knock it because I have tried it in Old Blighty! As to the latter, I would do no such thing (having also sampled it).
KwasniczJ
1 / 5 (12) Nov 19, 2010
..that the people that payed for the research, DeBeers, didn't seem to find it compelling enough to put money on...
Why DeBeers should support research in room temperature superconductivity? And why the rest of world has ignored it? Is the sponsoring of research the duty of company, which sponsored the very first accidental finding? Is DuPont obliged to pay all Teflon research for future - or what?

It's just we, the other people, who are wasting time and money with ignorance of important findings from the past - not the DeBeers.
KwasniczJ
1.1 / 5 (13) Nov 19, 2010
They all to write the same way. Exactly like cranks. I do wish Prins would stop that. Oliver deserves whatever derision he gets as he has NO evidence to support his silly claims that the Sun has an iron core.
I'm completely opportunistic in this point. Even crackpot can reveal important finding (actually it happened many times in science). We can ignore his personal opinions safely, but we should handle this finding with caution. I'm insisting, that at least three important findings of the past (cold fusion, Podkletnov antigravity and J.Prins superconductivity) are real and they deserve professional research - with compare to expensive silly re-search of Higgs boson.
Ethelred
3.3 / 5 (4) Nov 19, 2010
Why DeBeers should support research in room temperature superconductivity?
Don't even try to put words in my mouth. I never made such a claim nor even got close to it. Have you been taking lessons from Marjon?
Is DuPont obliged to pay all Teflon research for future - or what?
They ARE obliged to defend their Trademark or they lose it.
It's just we, the other people, who are wasting time and money with ignorance of important findings from the past - not the DeBeers.
Well it does seem that DeBeers thinks it would be a waste to spend more money on the project.

How about you deal with what I actually said next time instead trying to create a Straw Man? I am NOT going to defend something I didn't say.

Ethelred
Ethelred
4 / 5 (4) Nov 19, 2010
Even crackpot can reveal important finding (actually it happened many times in science).
Got an example of an actual successful crackpot?
but we should handle this finding with caution.
He didn't actually have a finding of superconduction. Maybe his speculation is right but it simply isn't supported by anything in the paper.
I'm insisting, that at least three important findings of the past (cold fusion
Which is a total failure.
Podkletnov antigravity
So succesful I hadn't heard of it.

http://en.wikiped...dkletnov

Interesting. So how come no public demonstrations? I will believe it IF they actually show it working. At the moment it looks like one of the free energy cons.
J.Prins superconductivity
Which he has yet to show occurred. Even on his site. Apparently in his books as well.
with compare to expensive silly re-search of Higgs boson.
If that was all they were doing it would be a bit silly. It isn't all.

Ethelred
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Nov 20, 2010
Got an example of an actual successful crackpot?
I do, but Huges wasn't really a scientist, just a financier of science.
KwasniczJ
1 / 5 (7) Nov 20, 2010
. Maybe his speculation is right but it simply isn't supported by anything in the paper.
You're simply not qualified enough to judge it.
Kikora
not rated yet Nov 20, 2010
Oh well, there goes resistance free transmission cables
Ethelred
3.6 / 5 (5) Nov 20, 2010
You're simply not qualified enough to judge it.


Since NO ONE has sited it for room temperature superconduction NO ONE has judged it good. No one qualified that is. YOU sure aren't since managed to not notice that there is no evidence.

Unsupported claims have little value.

I can read. I can see that there is no testing to support the claim superconduction. If you can't see that you just refuse to admit to reality. Which was pretty clear without this latest excursion into wishful thinking.

Without evidence the speculation simply is not supported.

Now since you think I don't know what I am talking about SHOW CAUSE. Point out just where in that paper there is something showing superconduction. Actual evidence as opposed to speculation by Dr. Prins.

If you can't do that it is YOU that is unqualified.

Put up or or give it up.

Ethelred
KwasniczJ
1.2 / 5 (6) Nov 21, 2010
Without evidence the speculation simply is not supported.
J.F.Prins has done experiments and evidence - you're anonymous troll, who has nothing.

BTW Room temperature superconductivity book

http://arxiv.org/...6187.pdf
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Nov 21, 2010
Without evidence the speculation simply is not supported.
J.F.Prins has done experiments and evidence - you're anonymous troll, who has nothing.

BTW Room temperature superconductivity book

http://arxiv.org/...6187.pdf

I've spoken with Dr. Prins about this on several occasions, both here and through email. As so far he has stated that he doesn't have the financial where-with-all to get larger scale proof-positive experiemnts into the public literature.

Apparently he had never heard of youtube. As such his papers remain out of the literature because there are issues with his research and repeatability is impossible if there is no initial experiment. His ideas are interesting, but without further investigation, he doesn't have anything to really show. Skepticism is necessary in all claims, regardless of how good a person the man making the claims is.
KwasniczJ
1 / 5 (7) Nov 21, 2010
..repeatability is impossible if there is no initial experiment..
In J.F.Prins articles are described many such experiments.
.but without further investigation, he doesn't have anything to really show...
Frankly, he is old already, he does need room temperature superconductivity for anything - we do. This has nothing to do with skepticism, but with ignorance of physical community, which reveals its true character in this case.
Ethelred
4 / 5 (4) Nov 21, 2010
J.F.Prins has done experiments and evidence - you're anonymous troll
Where? I notice that you failed to post where it was in the paper in question.

And calling people anonymous from a double login, Zephyr. That's isn't brass balls, it's utter foolishness.

I have used this handle for a nearly decade. You change frequently and pretend that you are different person.

The book you linked to doesn't agree with Dr. Prins either. For instance Prins insists that there are no Cooper pairs in ANY superconductor yet in the book:
In Chapter 8, it is shown that the Cooper pairs exist above room temperature in organic materials.


There is no mention of Dr. Prins and only two uses of the word diamond in the book.

So while its nice that you posted that link it doesn't support Dr. Prins. Which does not mean Dr. Prins can't make one based on his ideas. He simply didn't have evidence in that paper.

More
Ethelred
4 / 5 (4) Nov 21, 2010
It is nice that you are supporting Dr. Prins when he made quite clear that he thinks you're an ass. He doesn't like what I said about the abstract for that paper either. But I still like his wave ideas. I just don't know if they are real.
In J.F.Prins articles are described many such experiments.
No. I did request that you post whatever the heck you thought he showed. Just bare faced claiming that it is there won't do. SHOW IT.
Frankly, he is old already, he does need room temperature superconductivity for anything
He is only eight years older than I am.

Ethelred
KwasniczJ
1 / 5 (5) Nov 21, 2010
But I still like his wave ideas
You see - and I still like his finding regarding diamond room temperature superconductivity. I don't care about personal things and I'd recommend you the same.
Ethelred
4 / 5 (4) Nov 21, 2010
and I still like his finding regarding diamond room temperature superconductivity.


He had NO finding. He made a supposition that the data didn't support. That is not a finding. Wanting something to be true does not make it true. No wonder you post so much nonsense. I loved that part in another thread were you referred to electrons having skin. That was hilarious. If only it was intended to be funny.

I don't care about personal things and I'd recommend you the same.


My that not only contradicted your last post it was self-contradictory.

Zephyr, why would I take a recommendation from someone that has NO ethics at all. You are not exactly an example of good behavior or wise thinking.

Ethelred
KwasniczJ
1 / 5 (6) Nov 21, 2010
He made a supposition that the data didn't support..
Prins's data support his supposition and even if the would not, no one could explain, why such important finding was ignored with mainstream physics. Because it doesn't contradict any known physical law and its importance is quite apparent. You're not exactly the person, who could judge others for their ethics.
Ethelred
4 / 5 (4) Nov 21, 2010
Prins's data support his supposition
Nonsense. He showed NO current until the voltage reached 460 which isn't close to resistance. Even then the current was in milliamperes.
even if the would not, no one could explain, why such important finding was ignored with mainstream physics
460 volts to produce milliamps. That explains it. So not no one.

I am still waiting to see you post what YOU think was the evidence.
Because it doesn't contradict any known physical law
Just the evidence in his paper. I have not said it can't be done. I said he didn't show ANY evidence. You also seem unable to show anything to support it. You did post a link to a book that ignored him.
You're not exactly the person, who could judge others for their ethics.
Rubbish. I don't lie and I don't pretend to be something, or someone, that I am not. You do both.

Again post the evidence or give it up.

Ethelred
Teemu
5 / 5 (3) Nov 22, 2010
Physicist Johan Prins conducted an experiment to develop a superconductor that worked at room temperature. He used a layer of synthetic diamond doped with oxygen atoms, and by applying a voltage to the gold-plated probe above the surface of the diamond, he was able to draw electrons out of the diamond into the vacuum which completed the circuit. In opinion of Archie Campbell, Cambridge, UK it would be quite impossible to detect superconductivity with his measurements.
Teemu
5 / 5 (3) Nov 22, 2010
In his experiment Johan Prins found that the current through his crystal did not change detectably when the thickness of the vacuum gap between the diamond and positively charged probe was reduced to zero. Since he was applying 1000 volts and drawing only half a milliamp, the resistance of his circuit was 2 megohms. And since the noise in his current was at least 1 per cent, any resistance in the gap less than 20 kilohms would be undetectable.

If the gap were made of copper the resistance would be about 0.04 micro-ohms, so the only conclusion that can be drawn is that the resistivity of the electron gas is no greater than around 10^11 times that of copper. This cannot be regarded as evidence of superconductivity.
Teemu
5 / 5 (3) Nov 22, 2010
So his experimental set up didn't prove it even better conductor than silicon, a semi-conductor, so it was crap set-up.
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Nov 23, 2010
Teemu, you have made exactly four posts here. ALL are dealing with Dr. Prins. Its all copy and paste from the same article at that.

So whats up with the obsession and why don't you comment on anything else?

Ethelred
Teemu
5 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2010
I don't spend much time in here but I think it is important to point out that his experiment wasn't good enough to prove it better than silicon as conductor when some people try to claim he has proven it to be superconductor.
hush1
1 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2010
"There is thus ONE SINGLE mechanism which is responsible for ALL superconduction. Obviously the electronic and crystallographic properties must be such that this mechanism can manifest. In spin-materials, the spin interactions must be such that this mechanism can manifest. But it is still the same mechanism in every material. There are NOT "conventional" and "non-conventional" superconductors."

J. Prins.

Just knowing this "mechanism" has the potential to make or break the extraordinary claim.

Of course, as noted by Ethelred:
"He said he can't give details until patents are straightened out."

O.k. Fair enough. Can we wait?
The question is rhetorical.
Sonhouse
not rated yet Dec 13, 2010
He hasn't convinced anyone, anyone with money anyway
This is the same argument, like the claim, Galileo hasn't convinced pope - so he was indeed crackpot...;-) The religious approach of yours is solely based on author's reputation, not the actual content of his work. This is not, what the science is about - this is an example of medieval thinking, instead.

The details of Prins's work are presented in the publications presented, which was peer-reviewed. So it's just you, who is lying here, when you're claiming, his work didn't convinced anybody.

I looked at his papers and he is convinced he sees superconductivity based on a zero voltage current in a semiconductor. However, he measures the 'zero volts' with a quote'high tech' DVM. My point is I think he is just looking at measurement error. He would need something a lot better than say, an 8 digit lab dvm but that is his only measurement tool. Suspicious to say the least.