Scientists create a high-temperature superconductor

A group of Korean scientists has announced the creation of a material that demonstrates the properties of a superconductor at room temperature. This makes it possible to create flying vehicles and extremely powerful computers that do not overheat.

High-temperature superconductor. Source:

New superconducting material

A group of Korean scientists claims that they have been able to create a superconductor that demonstrates all the properties inherent in these materials at room temperature. The main results of experiments with it are published in two articles at once, which were published in different publications, but they have not yet been reviewed.

The material, called LK-99, is a modified lead anhydrite. Scientists claim that it can be easily obtained in any modern laboratory from lead, sulfur and copper. It works at temperatures up to 127 °C, which makes it possible to use it in any conditions on Earth.

A group of researchers registered a critical current in the material, the absence of electrical resistance, a critical magnetic field, as well as the Meissner effect. The latter is a phenomenon of levitation, the hovering of an ordinary magnet over a superconductor without any expenditure of energy. The researchers added a video demonstrating this to their publication.

According to the researchers, superconductivity in the material occurs after a part of the atoms of the first is removed in the combination of lead with sulfur and copper is placed in their place. This creates local curvatures of magnetic fields, which cause high-temperature superconductivity.

Why is a superconductor so important?

Superconductivity is an amazing effect that is observed in many materials that conduct electric current. It consists in the fact that at a certain temperature and a certain current strength, the resistance of the material decreases to zero. Another manifestation of superconductivity is the Meissner effect, which people have long wanted to use in technology.

The only problem is that so far superconductivity has only occurred at very low temperatures. Recently, scientists have already received materials that demonstrate it at room temperature, but they work only under high pressure conditions.

If LK-99 really has the properties that Korean scientists attribute to it, it will mean the beginning of a new era in technology. It is becoming a reality to transfer energy through wires over long distances without loss, using extremely powerful batteries and computers, as well as mobile phones that do not overheat and can work for weeks without recharging. Maglev trains on a magnetic cushion, capable of traveling at a speed of hundreds of kilometers per hour, are becoming much cheaper.

In the space industry, this could also be the beginning of a real revolution. After all, it makes it possible to develop superconducting magnets that will create a magnetic field for reliable plasma retention inside themselves. And this will make thermonuclear reactors and engines possible.

Doubts about the discovery

However, all this will work out only if Korean scientists have really created what they are talking about. In particular, the most important effects — changes in magnetization and heat capacity — are not obvious from the data presented. And the video doesn’t really prove much.

Physicists try to be careful in such matters. Indeed, in 2020, scientific publications have already published reports on the discovery of superconductors that operate at room temperature. Now those articles had been withdrawn due to the fact that obvious falsifications were found in them.

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