BirdPlaneSuperconductors that operate at room temperature have the potential to change the world. Now, we’re one step closer to this scientific breakthrough.

As any decent sparky knows, copper, with its super low resistivity, is naturally an excellent conductor. Humans around the world have used the metal for electrical purposes since electromagnetic experiments back in the early 1800s.

The first steps towards a room temperature superconductor

If you’ve got the right electrical tools, copper is a cinch to work with. Given its effectiveness and low cost of production, it’s little surprise that not much has changed in the humble wire over the last couple hundred years. However, this could all be set to change with recent research finding that hydrogen sulphide could make for a flawless alternative at some point in the future.

A study published in scientific journal Nature found that the common molecule hydrogen sulphide is capable of conducing electricity at zero resistance at temperatures of -70 degrees Celsius. Of course, these chilly conditions make it impractical for commercial use any time soon, but it does mark the first step towards developing a superconductor that can operate at room temperature.

Why is the research important?

A superconductor is the holy grail of scientific discovery. It’s the AFL finals, State of Origin and Bledisloe Cup all rolled into one. Why?

Well, a zero resistance conductor that functions at room temperature would make both the generation and transmission of electricity significantly more efficient. It could also be applied in devices that currently use superconductivity, such as Maglev trains and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. In fact, Princeton University solid-state chemist Robert Cava believes that creating such a superconductor has the potential to change the world.

“If the result is reproduced, it will be quite shocking. It would be a historic discovery,” said Mr Cava, as quoted by Scientific American.

It’s still too early to tell how the research will affect us sparkies down here in Australia, but nevertheless it offers an interesting look at where things might lead in the future.

Looking for some new gear that’ll tide you over in the years to come? Check out our great range of quality electrical tools that are guaranteed to get the job done.

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