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A controversial superconductor may be a game changer — if the claim is true

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LAS VEGAS — It’s a bold claim: The quest to create a superconductor that works under practical conditions is finally fulfilled, a team of researchers says. But controversy has dogged the team’s earlier claim of record-breaking superconductivity, suggesting the new result will face extreme scrutiny.

Many materials become superconductors, able to transmit electricity with no resistance, provided they’re cooled to very low temperatures. A few superconductors work under warmer conditions, but those must be squeezed to crushing pressures, meaning they’re also impractical to use.

Now researchers are saying they have created a superconductor that works at room temperature and relatively low pressure. A superconductor that operates under such commonplace conditions could herald a new age of high-efficiency machines,…

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