Imagine traveling on a levitating train at 14,000 mph, which would reduce the distance between New York and Los Angeles to just 20 minutes. The science fiction fantasy, according to a group of South Korean academics, is now more plausible than ever thanks to a groundbreaking development in superconductors. The close-knit scientific community immediately went viral once the researchers’ findings were published on July 22.
The scientists believe that this latest development will be a brand-new turning point that ushers in a new era for mankind. Extremely low temperatures are needed for superconductivity, which makes it expensive for replication on a large industrial scale. They claimed in their unreviewed publication that they had created the first superconductor in history using the lead-based compound LK-99 to conduct electricity at room temperature and atmospheric pressure.
While others hurried to replicate their findings — unsuccessfully — detractors promptly doused cold water on their claims. According to Jens Koch, a physics professor at Northwestern University, “I take the announcement with the proverbial grain of salt, though this particular grain seems closer to the size of a rock.”
Impact of South Korean Superconductor Research on Global Market Trends and Industry Concerns
Some of my coworkers have already expressed concern about the information provided by the South Korean group, Koch continued. The stock price of companies engaged in superconductor research increased due to the remote prospect that LK-99 could deliver a huge leap for humanity. After the South Koreans published their study, American Superconductor Corp. stock rose by over 130%. A superconductor has almost no resistance to conduct an electric current, allowing electricity to pass through it with no energy loss.
Superconductivity at ambient temperature, according to Cote, would revolutionize the generation, evolving, and transportation of energy. Extremely strong magnetic fields would be produced with very high efficiency by room-temperature ambient-pressure superconductors, making energy cheaper and more accessible while lowering carbon footprint, says Cote. Supersonic “maglev” trains could be built using stable, room-temperature superconductors, cargo ships might consume less fuel and emit fewer emissions, and aircraft and other industrial vehicles would perform better.
Extremely fast microprocessor operation would advance artificial intelligence, sophisticated simulations, and data analysis. But hold off on purchasing those rail tickets. The physicist at Argonne National Laboratory, Michael Norman, said in an interview with Science that the Korean researchers come off as real novices.
Source: New York Post