Alex Kaplan Profile picture
Jul 26, 2023 10 tweets 3 min read Read on X
Today might have seen the biggest physics discovery of my lifetime. I don't think people fully grasp the implications of an ambient temperature / pressure superconductor. Here's how it could totally change our lives.
1. 100 billion kWh of electricity are wasted on transmission losses each year in the US alone. That's equivalent to 3 of our largest nuclear reactors running 24/7. Superconductivity enables lossless electricity transmission at high voltages and currents.
2. According to the authors, the LK-99 material can be prepared in about 34 hrs with extremely basic lab equipment (a mortar & pestle, basic vacuum, and furnace). These results could replicate within days-weeks. Image
3. Nuclear fusion reactors rely on superconductors for plasma confinement. Modern designs use RBCO/YBCO superconductors cooled with LN2 or Liquid He, creating a huge temperature gradient and challenging operation. Ambient superconductors enable a whole host of new reactor designs
4. Quantum computers use superconductors to preserve coherence in qubits. Small changes in temperature and pressure can cause the entire QC to fail during operation. Imagine a room temperature quantum computer on your desktop - now possible.
5. Superconductors might be the best batteries out there. Simply inject a current and keep it in the coil until you need it. Previously, too costly to maintain. Now, totally feasible.
6. Your iPhone won't overheat when playing subway surfer with a youtube video in the corner anymore! Ultra-efficient computer chips will have 0 resistive losses during operation with superconductors. No need for cooling fans!!
7. And, the common ones: super-cheap MRI machines, MagLev trains everywhere, and a super efficient electric grid. Basically, this: Image
8/8 I cannot contain my excitement. It feels like January of 2020 with a huge wave coming that no one realizes yet, but in a much better way. What a time to be alive!! Check out the original paper:
addendum: a lot of my @PrincetonPhys friends are convinced this is pretty legit, and I am too. Like, Fig 4 is a pretty good sign that (and was nowhere to be found in the previous Dias et. al fiasco). Hopes are up. Image

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More from @alexkaplan0

Apr 4
Solar panels are so cheap that we now:

(1) make fences out of them, because they're cheaper than fencing
(2) just throw them on the ground without mounting
(3) use them as conference tables
(4) build 56 GW/year manufacturing facilities

Energy abundance is here! (sources in 🧵)

2. throw them on the ground without mounting:
Read 5 tweets
Aug 8, 2023
It's as close to official as we'll probably get: LK-99 is likely simply a ferromagnetic material, which explains its levitating properties, according to new research from Peking University.

The room temperature superconductivity revolution will have to wait another day.
Guo et. al synthesized #LK99 with the published methodology and matched the material composition to the original using X-Ray Diffraction. They observed levitation in the sample and conducted a litany of other tests.
Their findings conclusively prove that their sample (which seems similar in many respects to LK-99) is NOT a superconductor. In fact, it's one of the least encouraging (and cleanest) resistivity plots we've seen so far. Image
Read 7 tweets
Aug 4, 2023
My current reasons to / not to believe:

* Diamagnetism is pretty rare and the Meissner effect is a key way to measure SC in a bulk heterogenous material
* We've seen multiple ~confirmations of diamagnetism
* DFT calculations are good (small update)
* Still no good resistivity data; HUST and Lee et. al are extremely inconclusive
* The hypothesized crystal structure may be extremely unstable/impossible
* Diamagnetism is totally possible without SC and in fact we've seen it before in USOs (unidentified SC objcts)
For an interesting opinion on why floating is a valuable signal:
Read 5 tweets
Aug 2, 2023
Well, here we have it! The first claimed replication of zero resistance in LK-99. As with the original pre-prints, the results are presented unconventionally (in a livestream on bilibili, a Chinese video sharing site). A few important caveats and notes in the thread Image
1. The Tc is not room temperature! It's 100 K, approx -279 ºF.
2. The shape of this resistivity graph is pretty weird. You'd expect a discontinuous drop straight down, rather than a curve down.
3. 1E-5 ≠ 0! Although it may be within measurement error.
4. The authors did not observe levitation or other strong diamagnetic properties, which they attribute to impurities in the samples.
5. All the usual caveats: these results are nowhere near published (literally just a youtube video), nor reviewed, and could be unreliable.
Read 6 tweets
Aug 1, 2023

@sineatrix finds a theoretical basis for superconductivity in Cu-doped Lead Apatite.

Isolated flat bands at the Fermi level is a hallmark of superconducting crystals. LK99 has it!!!!

This is huge Image

What a discovery. Remarkable speed and thoughtfulness in this succinct and clear
Wow, this is a major update. This looks to me a very careful DFT calculation with a very clear understanding of the structure of the Cu-doped lattice.

In all my naiveté, I would guess it more likely than not that this theoretical work will hold up. Image
Read 6 tweets
Jul 31, 2023
A few #LK99 updates (in case you haven't seen)

1. Twitter anon @iris_IGB claims to have made the floating rock, people are getting excited
2. @eirifu has a great tracker of replication efforts (linked below)
3. The replication probability on @ManifoldMarkets is up to 28%
@iris_IGB floats rock (still could be diamagnetism, but would be 10x stronger diamagnetism than graphite)
Replication tracker by @eirifu:…
Read 5 tweets

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