A new hydrogen-rich compound may be a record-breaking superconductor | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


A new hydrogen-rich compound may be a record-breaking superconductor

The current record-holder, hydrogen sulfide, which also must be compressed, works below 203 kelvins, or about ?70° Celsius (SN: 12/26/15, p. 25).

The new evidence for superconductivity is based on a dramatic drop in the resistance of the lanthanum-hydrogen compounds when cooled below a certain temperature. One team of physicists found that their compound’s resistance plummeted at a temperature of 260 kelvins (?13° C), the temperature of a very cold winter day. The purported superconductivity occurred when the material had been crushed with almost 2 million times the pressure of Earth’s atmosphere by squeezing it between two diamonds. Some samples even showed signs of superconductivity at higher temperatures, up to 280 kelvins (about 7° C), physicist Russell Hemley of George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and colleagues report in a study posted online August 23 at arXiv.org.

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