The electrified future is arriving quickly, and putting down roots. Electric vehicle technology—including better batteries and faster charging, but also on-board information technology making both energy management and vehicle management smarter and safer—is rapidly advancing. EV infrastructure is spreading. COVID recovery funds will likely mobilize the largest ever new round of investment in electrified transport.
Now, scientists at Cornell University have discovered a new kind of superconductor: a “g-wave” superconductor. Superconductors are defined by their low to zero resistance to electricity flow—meaning they can achieve 100% delivery of electricity. They are not as well understood or as easily controlled as semiconductors, which make up the information-management infrastructure of the Internet, cloud computing, and wider IT landscape.
- Binary computing works at the speeds and with the efficiency it does, because we have developed more and more precise control over the properties of semiconducting materials.
- Quantum computing will require far greater speed of both computation (information management and data processing) and energy management.
- It may require engineers to be able to build systems that create and harness elementary particles that would otherwise exist only rarely or for too short a time to be of material use.
- Brad Ramshaw and his team have discovered, through high-resolution resonant ultrasound spectroscopy, that Strontium Ruthenate may in fact be a previously unknown g-wave variety of superconductor.
Ramshaw is quoted in the Cornell Chronicle saying:
This experiment really shows the possibility of this new type of superconductor that we had never thought about before. It really opens up the space of possibilities for what a superconductor can be and how it can manifest itself. If we’re ever going to get a handle on controlling superconductors and using them in technology with the kind of fine-tuned control we have with semiconductors, we really want to know how they work and what varieties and flavors they come in.
The paper “Thermodynamic evidence for a two-component superconducting order parameter in Sr2RuO4“, published in the journal Nature Physics, details a new means of testing for superconductive properties that could, itself, be the most valuable discovery from this research. If there are more kinds of superconductors in nature than previously understood, or if superconducting materials can be made, achieved, maintained, or harnessed, in ways not previously understood, that information could substantially advance our ability to manage energy and information, and to build an advanced, multi-tiered energy computation economy.