Room temperature superconductor paper published

In summary, a paper has been circulating on fintwit about the first room-temperature ambient-pressure superconductor. The paper claims to have synthesized a room-temperature superconductor with a modified lead-apatite structure that works at ambient pressure. The superconducting properties of the material have been tested and the results support its claims. The authors suggest that the unique structure of the material is the key factor in maintaining superconductivity at room temperature and ambient pressure. However, there are some concerns raised about the paper, including its unclear evidence plots and the authors' lack of expertise in experimental superconductivity. Additionally, the material has been patented, but it is uncertain if a material can be patented. Overall, while the paper has sparked
  • #1
BWV
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This paper is circulating around fintwit , has not been replicated, but does it pass a smell test?

https://arxiv.org/abs/2307.12008

The First Room-Temperature Ambient-Pressure Superconductor​

Sukbae Lee, Ji-Hoon Kim, Young-Wan Kwon
For the first time in the world, we succeeded in synthesizing the room-temperature superconductor (Tc≥400 K, 127∘C) working at ambient pressure with a modified lead-apatite (LK-99) structure. The superconductivity of LK-99 is proved with the Critical temperature (Tc), Zero-resistivity, Critical current (Ic), Critical magnetic field (Hc), and the Meissner effect. The superconductivity of LK-99 originates from minute structural distortion by a slight volume shrinkage (0.48 %), not by external factors such as temperature and pressure. The shrinkage is caused by Cu2+ substitution of Pb2+(2) ions in the insulating network of Pb(2)-phosphate and it generates the stress. It concurrently transfers to Pb(1) of the cylindrical column resulting in distortion of the cylindrical column interface, which creates superconducting quantum wells (SQWs) in the interface. The heat capacity results indicated that the new model is suitable for explaining the superconductivity of LK-99. The unique structure of LK-99 that allows the minute distorted structure to be maintained in the interfaces is the most important factor that LK-99 maintains and exhibits superconductivity at room temperatures and ambient pressure.
 
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  • #2
lol, posted it earlier today, but decided to delete the post :smile:

Good thing is that the chemistry behind makes it easy to test, any decent lab should be able to reproduce the material in days. OTOH it wouldn't be a first false alarm.

Probably not last either.
 
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  • #3
We need a 'fingers crossed' response too.
 
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  • #4
I would definitely like to see their results replicated.
I'm not sure it will be that easy.
 
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  • #5
.Scott said:
I'm not sure it will be that easy.

The recipes listed in the paper look pretty simple. Sure, things can get hairy somewhere, but that would be already a signal something is wrong.
 
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  • #6
Borek said:
The recipes listed in the paper look pretty simple. Sure, things can get hairy somewhere, but that would be already a signal something is wrong.
There is something very quick and simple: borrow their "rock" and test it.
If you can find another suitable lab in Seoul, it could be done today.
 
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  • #7
.Scott said:
it could be done today.
Except that it's already tomorrow in Korea. :smile:
 
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  • #8
.Scott said:
borrow their "rock" and test it.
This didn't happen with the last time we had the first room temperature superconductor, the Indian gold-silver amalgam. Or maybe it was the time before that.

Does this pass the smell test? It's pretty stinky. Doesn't make it wrong, but...
  1. The paper, as stated, is not very good. Doesn't make it wrong, but...
  2. The evidence plots are, at least to me, not so clear. Doesn't make it wrong, but...
  3. The authors' publication history is not in experimental superconductivity - it appears to be more in theory, and non-SC theory dominates. Doesn't make it wrong, but...
  4. The research was apparently conducted at a commercial company, This appears to be the very first paper out of this company, at least in English. Doesn't make it wrong, but...
  5. The idea of increasing the internal pressure by substitution is not new. It has had some success in the past, but nothing like this. Doesn't make it wrong, but...
  6. The authors claim to have a new family of materials. The first and thus far only member of this family has the property of interest. Doesn't make it wrong, but...
You may be sensing a theme.
 
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  • #9
7. They made a video that is supposed to show levitation but the object is resting on the surface on one side. It looks like a normal repulsion between magnets.
8. They made a video how their object wiggles a bit in response to a moving magnet nearby, but that's something you get with regular metals as well.
9. Their resistivity measurement below what they call critical temperature is 1000 times higher than the resistivity of copper. It decreases with decreasing temperature, just like for regular metals.
 
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  • #10
mfb said:
Their resistivity measurement below what they call critical temperature is 1000 times higher than the resistivity of copper. It decreases with decreasing temperature, just like for regular metals.
Can you be a bit more specific about this citation? I agree with your other stuff but I do not see this one and I was indeed looking.
 
  • #12
10. They filled the patent application for superconductivity in LK-99 in 2020. So, in 3 years they could not make a perfect specimen?
 
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  • #13
I do not believe a material can be patented. A process for making it, yes, and in some cases a use for a material, but I do not believe you can patent the material itself.
 
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  • #15
They can always file....
 
  • #17
I am not a parent attorney. But my understanding is that you can (perhaps) patent a material for a given use, but not for any use whatever. (It's a floor wax! It's a dessert topping!) I am really not an expert in Korean law, but most 1st world nations have similar patent laws.

Some of the peculiarities might be explained by this being an attempt to avoid assigning ownership to their university. Typically in the US, the terms of employment assign intellectual property to the employer, but equally typically the inventor gets a piece of the pie, e.g. 25%,
 
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  • #18
They'll starve with only 25% of a patent that (if it's working and the patent is enforceable) is worth hundreds of billions of USD.
 
  • #19
I doubt the patent - if it is even granted - is worth billions. The market for SC cable is just over $1B/year. Assuming they get can 1% of this, that's $10M/year. Not a bad chunk of change, but not billions.

That's assuming that the manufacturing capacity ramps up to today's HTS capacity quickly, and it also assumes a major world power (I have one in mind) doesn't just decide to infringe. Further, an agreement gets money flowing to all the parties faster than litigation.
 
  • #20
One other thing bothers me. What is Tc? The paper just says>=400 K (127 C), That by itself looks innumerate, but stay with the >=400 K for a moment. Why can't they give a better answer? Phase transitions are easy to spot.

The answer is that they don't have a sharp transition. I'd sure want to see one or have a doggone good understanding of why I didn't see one before claiming that there is one.
 
  • #21
Vanadium 50 said:
The market for SC cable is just over $1B/year.
That's with current superconductors where you need liquid nitrogen or even liquid helium to operate them. A room temperature superconductor that is easy to manufacture and doesn't need cooling under most conditions would grow that market massively. We lose around a trillion kWh in transmission per year. At a market price of maybe 5 cent/kWh that's 50 billion per year. You won't replace the grid over night, but year for year you can unlock more of that potential by upgrading your infrastructure.
There are completely new markets, too. You can connect continents to share renewable energies in a more balanced way for example.
Vanadium 50 said:
One other thing bothers me. What is Tc? The paper just says>=400 K (127 C), That by itself looks innumerate, but stay with the >=400 K for a moment. Why can't they give a better answer? Phase transitions are easy to spot.
Maybe slightly different thresholds in different samples? Figure 5 shows a very sharp transition.
 
  • #22
Sure, maybe a new material will cause the market to balloon. Didn't happen with Nb3Sn, Didn't really happen with HYS - MRI magnets are still wound with Nb-Ti - but maybe this tile it will be different. Even regular SCs took decades to be commercialized, If there is a theme, it's that making a sample of an SC material is one thing, Making wire is something else entirely, and making long wires is yet again something else. Maybe this time things will be different,.

We've had HTS for over 30 years. It still is a niche market - mostly leads to coils of Ni-Ti. Patents are 20 years. Maybe this time things will be different,.
mfb said:
Maybe slightly different thresholds in different samples

Maybe, That does not bode well for fast commercialization. The only company that has been successful marketing a product where sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't is Microsoft. :smile:
 
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  • #23
Reminds me of a great headline: Scientists in the Antarctic discover a room-temperature superconductor.
 
  • #24
mfb said:
7. They made a video that is supposed to show levitation but the object is resting on the surface on one side. It looks like a normal repulsion between magnets.
Superconductive levitation must be full-levitation. Half-levitation is a characteristic of a weak magnetic dipole resting on the pole of a bigger magnet.

That has now given away the trick they are using.
Maybe they are yet to realise, they are kidding themselves.
 
  • #25
Baluncore said:
Superconductive levitation must be full-levitation.
I'm not sure I buy that. (Presumably non-superconducting) frogs can be levitated, and floating means that gravitational potential enerhg can be overcome by magnetic energy density - not true for all materials: only party might be in the SC phase (or I suppose, if it's really heavy). SC cable, for example, typically doesn't float, as the weight is mostly stabilizer.

That said, there's something Monty Python-esque about levitating a sample, um, one side at a time. "the only reason that it had been sitting on its perch in the first place was that it had been nailed there."
 
  • #26
Some of the finance people I follow on Twitter (X?), no doubt applying the deep expertise in submarine design they developed earlier this summer to the field of solid state physics, are citing this paper as replication:

https://arxiv.org/abs/2307.16892
 
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  • #27
BWV said:
Some of the finance people I follow on Twitter (X?), no doubt applying the deep expertise in submarine design they developed earlier this summer to the field of solid state physics, are citing this paper as replication:

https://arxiv.org/abs/2307.16892
Even some sophisticated scientists I've known have regarded numerical simulations as "experiments." That always seemed strange to me. But I yield to the advanced wisdom finance bros.
 
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  • #28
Haborix said:
Even some sophisticated scientists I've known have regarded numerical simulations as "experiments." That always seemed strange to me. But I yield to the advanced wisdom finance bros.
Well, when has numerical modelling ever failed in finance?
 
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  • #29
Cataclysmic failures are above my paygrade, sorry.
 
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  • #30
When I was younger, I always wondered how a stranger could come into a town, and get people to buy the snakeskin oil. After seeing how this has played over social media, I realize it is because some people want to be deluded into something, and that is what the snakeskin oil salesman is really selling.

I saw some guy on twitter take a picture with a ceramic bowl, a blowtorch, and later a piece of metal in a glass pipe and people seriously thought he was making the material. Shockingly enough, he is now thinking of ways to take donations!
 
  • #32
DaveC426913 said:
Sounds like preliminary replication are starting to trickle in.

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/superconductor-breakthrough-replicated-twiceNot a reputable source, but I'm gonna stay tuned
Important to note, the simulation results say nothing about the ambient pressure part of the claim (other than to quote it). And the other replication mentioned in that article is the replication of the manufacturing process. Taking all of these as true, we still wouldn't have replication of the most interesting part of the claim: a high Tc superconductor at ambient pressure.
 
  • #33
DaveC426913 said:
Sounds like preliminary replication are starting to trickle in.

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/superconductor-breakthrough-replicated-twiceNot a reputable source, but I'm gonna stay tuned
Tom's Hardware is not a reputable source? How dare you!

1691020350068.png
 
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  • #34
BWV said:
citing this paper as replication
I do not consider a calculation, no matter how good, as experimental replication.
 
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  • #35
Wikipedia has a table

Group by group as of now:

* Diamagnetism seen, waiting for resistance measurements
* No diamagnetism, high resistance
* Big changes in resistance as function of temperature, but low or no resistance only at 110 K. No Meissner effect.
* No diamagnetism seen
* Resistance doesn't drop to zero in measured temperature range
* No diamagnetism seen
* No clear results yet

Just one group seeing diamagnetism is a bad start. Superconductivity implies (ideal) diamagnetism but the reverse is not true - even if the material is strongly diamagnetic it doesn't have to be a superconductor.
 

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