Imagine if your computer could run on electricity that flows forever without overheating. This isn’t magic: It’s the potential future of a real phenomenon called superconductivity, which today underpins everything from cutting-edge magnetic research to MRIs.
Now, scientists have found that they can make a superconductor that’s different from others that have come before. It lets electricity flow in only one direction: Like a train pointing downhill, it slides freely one way but faces a daunting uphill in the other. It sounds arcane, but this ability is critical to making electronic circuits like the ones that power your computer. If these scientists’ results hold, it could bring that future one step closer.
“There are so many fun possibilities available now,” says Mazhar Ali, a physicist at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and one of the authors who published their work in the journal Nature on April 27.
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