The hallmark of superconductivity is a sudden resistance drop to zero ohms and strong diamagnetism (the Meissner effect) near the same temperature. In numerous tests a small amount of the compound (Tl5Pb2)Ba2Mg2Cu9O17+ consistently produced sharp resistive transitions near 28.5 Celsius (see above graphics), and diamagnetic transitions also near 28.5C (see below)1. The transitions were unambiguous, repeatable, and at ambient pressure, making this the first observation of true room-temperature superconductivity in a copper-oxide. Unfortunately, like the 18C superconductor discovered in March 2011, these transitions occurred in a noisy environment, suggesting the volume fraction is very low. As such, any plans for immediate commercialization will have to wait for a refinement method to be developed.
Since the volume fraction of the 28C compound was low, the first step in commercialization was to find a governmental or industrial partner to help develop a refining and manufacturing technology. However, in the past 5 months a concerted effort to find a partner – or even a university to vet the discovery – has yielded nothing but apathy.
Since scientists have been searching for room temperature superconductivity for most of the last 100 years, this lack of interest is inexplicable. Such pervasive apathy is totally inconsistent with the U.S.’ role as a technology leader. This may be the first time in American history that a discovery of profound potential has been completely stifled by equally profound indifference.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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