Physicists think they have achieved one of the most coveted goals of their discipline: creating a superconducting material that works at near-room temperature.

The evidence is still preliminary and comes with a major caveat. So far, the material has been made only under pressures of about 200 gigapascals — or two million atmospheres.

But if confirmed, the feat would be the first example of superconductivity above 0˚C, and some physicists say that the work could be a milestone in the study of superconductivity, which researchers hope will one day make the generation, transmission and use of electricity vastly more efficient.

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