First Evidence That Superconductivity Can Be Left- or Right Handed
Date: Saturday, March 04, 2017 @ 14:15:43 MST
Topic: Science

Where electricity flows without resistance... but only in one direction.


Scientists have found the first evidence that superconductivity, one of the most intriguing and lucrative phenomena in physics, can be left- or right-handed. Or, more accurately, that superconducting materials can display chirality.

Chirality is frequently seen in nature - chiral materials are those that have mirror image versions of themselves that aren't identical, just like a left and a right hand. But until now, chirality and superconductivity - the ability for a material to transmit electricity with zero resistance - had never been found in the same material.

Now, an international team of researchers has observed a superconducting current flowing in only one direction through a chiral nanotube - the first observation of a chiral material acting as a superconductor.

This is important, because superconductivity is one of the most sought-after phenomena in physics. Right now, we see it occur when we cool certain materials down to very-chill temperatures below around  5.8 K (-267°C or -440°F).

When that happens, superconductive materials begin to shuttle electrons through them without any resistance, making them incredibly powerful...

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