Carbon buckyballs – and Superconductivity

I was reading (and writing about) about a new development in high temperature super conductors where hydrogen compounds known as molecular hydrides if put under very high pressure can exhibit super conducting capabilities.

As I noted in my write up, if you can develop materials which can be kept under constant pressure – such as the technique used in tempering glass – then it could theoretically be possible to develop these into viable products. Obviously, the pressures needed are significantly higher than can be achieved by simple tempering of glass, so it is not going to happen tomorrow.

The lack of need for all that cooling and insulation would make superconducting power cables very cheap to develop and considerably reduce the energy loss in transmitting electricity from power station to user.

Amazingly, this afternoon – I read a totally different story, about how tiny carbon capsules called buckyballs are so strong they can hold volumes of hydrogen nearly as dense as those at the center of Jupiter.

So suddenly, we “almost” have a match from two different developments – the need to store hydrogen compounds at high pressures, and the discovery that carbon nanoproducts can do exactly that.

Quite a coincidence. I wonder if they will get together for a chat.

Whats's on in London: today or tomorrow or this weekend

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