Scientists Find a Superconductor in Bits of Meteorite

Scientists Find a Superconductor in Bits of Meteorite

by Ryan F. Mandelbaum, Gizmodo

Scientists have detected trace amounts of superconducting material inside one of the world’s largest meteorites, according to a new study.

Superconductors are materials that can conduct electrical current without resistance, and they’re coveted by researchers who study quantum computers and companies hoping to transfer energy more efficiently. The superconductor inside the Australian meteorite is a known material, but the discovery itself comes as a shock.

“The big takeaway is that there is superconductivity in the sky, naturally occurring,” Ivan Schuller, one of the study’s lead authors from the University of California, San Diego, told Gizmodo.

Schuller’s team isn’t just interested in meteorites—they’re looking for superconductivity everywhere. Six years ago, his team debuted a technique called magnetic field modulated microwave spectroscopy (MFMMS). The MFMMS method starts with scientists putting tiny sample fragments into a cavity filled with microwaves and an oscillating magnetic field and then cooling it. When samples transition from conductors to superconductors, the way they absorb microwaves dramatically changes. The MFMMS method allows scientists to quickly scan through lots of materials to determine whether or not they are superconductors.

Read the full article here…

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