May 13th, 2015
TOKYO: Scientists have discovered a new state of matter that appears to be an insulator, superconductor, metal and magnet all rolled into one.
The research could help develop new molecular materials that are superconductors at even higher temperatures, researchers said. An international team of researchers made the discovery by studying a superconductor made from carbon-60 molecules or “buckyballs”. The team found the new state after changing the distance between neighbouring buckyballs by doping the material with rubidium, ‘physicsworld.com’ reported.
Why is this so exciting?
Well, if these properties are confirmed, this new state of matter will allow scientists to better understand why some materials have the potential to achieve superconductivity at a relativity high critical temperature (Tc) – “high” as in −135 °C as opposed to −243.2 °C. Because superconductivity allows a material to conduct electricity without resistance, which means no heat, sound, or any other form of energy release, achieving this would revolutionise how we use and produce energy, but it’s only feasible if we can achieve it at so-called high temperatures.