Scientists Discovered a New State of Matter

levitating superconductorAn international team of researchers have announced the discovery of a new state of matter in a material that could simultaneously be an insulator, superconductor, magnet and metal. Scientists believe that this could help develop more effective superconductors at high temperatures.

If these properties are confirmed, this new state of matter will allow researchers to understand better why some materials have the potential to reach superconductivity at a relatively high temperature. By a relatively high-temperature, researchers mean -135┬░ C. Superconductivity allows a material to conduct electricity without resistance, i.e. without heat, sound or any other form of energy release. If we manage to reach these so-called high temperatures we could revolutionize the way we produce electricity.

The name of this new state was inspired by Jahn-Teller effect, used in chemistry to explain the distortion of molecules in certain situations. Similarly, this new state of matter enables researchers to convert an insulator that cannot conduct electricity into a conductor, only by applying pressure. Scientists have used rubidium to achieve this goal.

“Rubidium atoms apply pressure. Normally when we think of applying pressure to raise some thing, we do that that by forcing the molecules to join together. Is it possible to do the same, but chemically, minimizing the distance between particles by adding or removing barriers between them or by adding some extra atoms.”, explained Michael Byrne.

These findings indicate that some insulating materials could be converted into superconductors, materials that are extremely valuable.

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