Random Noise Baffles Scientists Studying Superconductivity at Room Temperature

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Researchers find unexplained noise during room temperature superconductivity experiment at the Indian Institute of Science.

Superconductivity is gaining momentum in today’s scientific and medical establishment. For creating magnetic field, we need a very large current loop, often leading to imperfect transfer of electrons, which eventually heats the metal. Sometimes the finely designed metallic coil turns into a small glowing metallic puddle, to tackle this issue scientists have introduced the use of superconductors.

Most of the magnets employed in big apparatus use superconductors that operate at liquid helium temperatures (-270°C). The superconductors can operate in very low temperature underlying some very delicate physics.

A team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Science, worked to find out if the structure of a material could cause electrons to scatter in a way that causes them to pair up—using a material’s properties to promote superconductivity. Silver nanoparticles embedded in gold were used for the test, since electrons in gold and silver don’t show vibrations in either metal.

The scientists observed a transition to superconductivity at temperatures between -123°C and 77°C, subject on the ratio of gold to silver. Essentially, the transition was never observed for higher transition temperature, the researchers claim the critical temperature, if it exists, is higher than 77°C and could not be reached in their equipment.

Their findings suggests the critical magnetic field to be extremely high. Superconductivity at -123°C for applied fields of three to five Tesla was observed. The suspicious findings were about the two traces with identical noise, placed offset from each other. Noise is random and should never repeat. The researchers hope that the graph could be the result of a series mistakes, the same dataset administered twice with an error made in the process in one run.

 

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