One of the best properties of the material called reddmatter is its ability to work under conditions of low temperature and pressure, which is crucial for use in practical situations.
The discovery of a new material that is able to transmit electricity without resistance and transmit magnetic fields around the material is a breakthrough that scientists have been chasing for more than a century.
Why is red matter important?
The discovery of a new material could make it possible to create energy networks that are able to transmit energy without losses, saving up to 200 million megawatt hours that are currently lost due to material resistance, the Independent reports. One of the applications is nuclear fusion, a long-awaited process that could create one of the much-needed choices of virtually unlimited energy. Other applications include high-speed floating trains, and new types of medical equipment.
A team led by the same scientist, Ranga Dias, previously announced the creation of two slightly less revolutionary but similarly superconducting materials in papers published in the journals Nature and Physical Review Letters, of which the Nature paper was retracted due to a questionable scientific approach.
This time, Professor Dias and his team say they have taken extra steps to avoid similar criticism. For starters, the scientists tried to confirm that old work using new data collected outside the lab, while a team of scientists watched it happen live. The new research used the same approach.
The new material is described in the paper “Evidence of near-ambient superconductivity in nitrogen-enhanced lutetium hydride”published in Nature magazine.
The material was nicknamed reddmatter, due to its color and as an homage to the Star Trek material that could create a black hole when ignited. The idea for the name came during the creation process, when the material turned a very bright red color.
Professor Dias and team made the material by taking a rare earth metal called lutetium and mixing it with hydrogen and a small amount of nitrogen. Then the mixture was left to react for two or three days, at high temperatures.
The paper states that the compound came out blue, but began to change color to pink under high pressure when it reached superconductivity, only to return to a bright red color in its non-superconducting metallic state.
To activate, the material still needs to be heated to 20.5 degrees Celsius and compressed to about 145,000 psi. But it is significantly less demanding than other, similar materials – including those mentioned, announced in 2020 by Professor Dias, which brought excitement and skepticism among scientists.
The much more important thing about this discovery is that it is possible to use the material in practical conditions, and the scientists involved in the work say that this will mark a new era for the practical use of super-conducting materials.
“The path to super-conducting consumer electronics, power transmission lines, transportation and significant improvements in magnetic containment for nuclear fusion is now a reality”Professor Dias said in a statement. “We believe we are now in the modern super-conductive era.”