People on the internet want instant gratification on the LK99 room temperature superconductor science. We can hope for this and want this but this science is difficult.
I describe in these two videos how difficult but also how important LK99 science is.
The positive partial results only happen in about 10% of the experiments where the exact recipe is successful followed. This is not a simple process and it is new. It is like amateur cooks trying to follow a soufle recipe for the first time. What is success? It is partial levitation and low purity in about 1 in a million pieces of the starting material. You get one milligram or micron flake after starting with 400 grams of starting material. It is a hard and unreliable process.
But that anything is happening at all at room temperature is amazing. They are starting with lead and phosphorous turned into a bone like lead apatite. Copper atoms are added and bonded to the lead. This reduces the volume of the lead apatite by 0.48%. The superconductivity of LK-99 originates from minute structural distortion by a slight volume shrinkage (0.48 %), not by external factors such as temperature and pressure. The shrinkage is caused by Cu2+ substitution of Pb2+(2) ions in the insulating network of Pb(2)-phosphate and it generates the stress.
This strain replaces diamond presses or extreme cold to generate strong dimagnetism and possibly superconductivity. We compress things and change the volume all the time but precise controlled volume reduction strain has generated dimagnetism and possibly superconductivity. This is a miraculous new way to change fundamental and important magnetic and electrical effects.
Those who think this could all be over, because full and measureable room temperature superconductivity (a holy grail of physics for over 100 years) cannot be replicated based upon analysis of rushed preprint papers? The preprint papers have already opened the door to unknown physics and processes. There are multiple partial replications and simulation models that show how doing this is plausible path to superconductivity or very interesting physics. This highly unreliable process is generating very interesting effects when next to nothing should be happening. The negative results are where the soufle did not rise at all and they analysed mundane raw ingredients.
This is huge new science and could lead to scientific holy grails as much as two layer or five layer magic angle graphene. In 2018, MIT researchers found that if two graphene layers are stacked at a very specific “magic” angle, the twisted bilayer structure could exhibit robust superconductivity, a widely sought material state in which an electrical current can flow through with zero energy loss.
In 2022, the researchers found that four and five graphene layers can be twisted and stacked at new magic angles to elicit robust superconductivity at low temperatures.
The graphene researchers hope that variations on these methods could be a blueprint for designing practical, room-temperature superconductors. IF the properties among family members could be replicated in other, naturally conductive materials then with a lot of time, work and research this could lead to room temperature superconductors.
Jeong Min Park, Yuan Cao, Li-Qiao Xia, Shuwen Sun, Kenji Watanabe, Takashi Taniguchi & Pablo Jarillo-Herrero.
Compare LK99 to other science and it is very important. If it takes time and hardwork to figure how to make the miraculous into understood science and products, then patience will be required. The job of the big science labs and companies is to speed up the cycle of experimentation, correct analysis of results and updating the theory based on important new experimental results and feeding that in for better predictions on what variations should be tried next for the experiments. Then the quality of theory needs to be assessed and updated with the experiments.
Even if we have found the general location in the chemical and material processes, there could be trillions of variations to be explored and millions of tweeks to the processes, methods and theories. I understanding and productization of electricity and magnets has taken over a hundred years and progress and improvements are still being made. LK99 science and results and fundamentally new and important.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.