Context:  Recently, South Korean researchers claimed that a lead-based compound they had developed, had shown superconducting properties at room temperature, under normal pressure conditions. About Superconductivity:
  • Superconductivity refers to a state in which a material offers zero, or near-zero, resistance to electric current. 
  • While resistance is a property that restricts the flow of electricity, superconductivity allows unhindered electric flow.
    • Electricity is essentially the movement of free electrons in a conducting material like copper. 
    • While the movement of electrons is in one particular direction, it is random and haphazard. 
    • They frequently collide with one another, and with other particles in the material, thus offering resistance to the flow of current.
  • As of now, superconductivity can be achieved only at very low temperatures, more than 250 degree Celsius below zero, very close to absolute zero which is – 273 degree Celsius.
  • In some cases, materials can exhibit superconductivity at slightly higher temperatures as well, but under increased pressure conditions.
Significance of Superconductivity:
  • Zero Electrical Resistance: Conduct electricity with zero resistance leading to efficient current transmission without energy loss as heat.
  • High Magnetic Fields: Generate very high magnetic fields, which makes them useful in a variety of applications such as MRI machines and particle accelerators.
  • Efficient Energy Storage: Store energy very efficiently, which makes them useful for energy storage applications such as in batteries and power grids.
  • Faster Computing: Enable faster and more efficient computing devices, which could revolutionize the field of computing.
  • New Innovation: Advance the field of quantum computing, as superconducting qubits can store and process quantum information with high coherence and fidelity.
News Source: Indian Express

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