Scientists discover alloy with superconducting properties in Australian meteorite Mundrabilla, marking the first time the substance was shown to have been created in space
- Scientists analyzed samples from the Mundrabilla meteorite in Australia
- They discovered traces of alloy with highly conductive properties
- It marks the first time superconductors have been shown to form in space
- Many believe that superconductors could be the key to a sustainable quantum computer
A team of researchers from the University of California San Diego has uncovered traces of alloy with transduction properties in meteorite remnants, the first evidence that superconductors could form in space.
The team was led by Ivan Schuller at UC San Diego, and supported by a grant from the U.S. Air Force.
In the past, researchers have tried to create superconducting alloys in laboratories, but much less energy has been spent on finding naturally occurring superconductors.
A team of scientists from UC San Diego analyzed samples from the Mundrabilla meteorite in Australia (pictured above) and found an alloy with superconducting properties, the first time a superconductor was confirmed from space
This is exactly what the team discovered when they examined samples from the Mundrabilla meteorite, first discovered in Australia in 1911 and one of the largest ever found on Earth .
The team analyzed the samples using a method called modular microwave spectroscopy (MFMMS), which involves exposing samples to magnetic and microwave radiation in a vacuum that can be cooled to low temperature.
The team found an alloy of iridium, lead, and tin in the meteorite sample that treated MFMMS in a superconductor-compatible manner.
Previous research had shown that the particular alloy was a great leader but no one had ever shown that the alloy was in space.
‘The big takeaway is that superconductivity is in the sky, occurring naturally,’ Ivan Schuller from UC San Diego told Gizmodo.
Initially the team was skeptical of their findings and asked researchers from Brookhaven National Lab in Long Island to double-check their work.
“Your first impression is that it deceives you, it’s something else,” said James Wampler of UC San Diego.
‘It’s very clever, not in a bad way, but being older forces you to double-check.’
Superconductors have become increasingly valuable in recent years as a key component in quantum computers
After the Brookhaven team tested their job, the team accepted that they had made a big discovery.
The search for superconductors in recent years has been linked to everything from magnetic levitating trains to quantum computers.
Superconductors necessarily transfer electricity by one atom to another without physical stress, and as a result there is no excess heat or other energy produced as a result of the transfer.
The alloy Schuller and his team found in the meteorite do not have superconductive properties until it is cooled to five degrees Kelvin, or about minus-450 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, the team believes their discovery gives the possibility that even more natural superconductors are still available.
‘All these products are God-given,’ Schuller said after his team’s research was made public.
‘Why don’t you look at them?’
WHAT IS QUANTUM RESEARCH AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
The key to a quantum computer is its ability to operate on a circuit basis not only being ‘on’ or ‘off’, but in a state that has both ‘on’ and ‘off’ at the same time. time.
Although this may seem strange, it is subject to the laws of quantum mechanics, which govern the behavior of the particles that make up an atom.
At this small scale, matter works in ways that would be impossible at the macro scale of the world in which we live.
Quantum mechanics allows these small particles to fall into several states, known as ‘superposition’, in order to be perceived or interrupted.
Scanning tunnel microscope shows a quantum plot from a phosphorus atom precisely located in silicon. Scientists have figured out how to get the qubits to talk to each other
The symbolism is good as coins spinning in the air. It cannot be described as ‘heads’ or ‘tails’ until it lands.
The heart of modern computing is binary code, which has been serving computers for decades.
While ‘bits’ in a classical computer are made up of zero and ones, a quantum computer has ‘qubits’ that can be zero or one value, or even both at the same time.
One of the major obstacles to the development of quantum computers has been the ability to hit classic computers.
Google, IBM, and Intel are among companies competing to achieve this.