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Superconductors in Space

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Naturally occurring superconducting materials have been found in two meteorites that crash-landed on Earth. This is for the first time superconductive grains are found in the extra-terrestrial objects. It was embedded in the meteorites. This shows that meteorites are not just space debris but can be extra-terrestrial proteins and minerals and materials older than the Solar System itself. Superconductivity is rare in natural materials on earth.

The discovery was made when the UC San Diego, scientists investigated fragments from 15 different meteorites. They used a technique called magnetic field modulated microwave spectroscopy to detect traces of superconductivity inside the samples.

Physicist and nano-scientist James Wampler said, “Naturally occurring superconductive materials are unusual, but they are particularly significant because these materials could be superconducting in extra-terrestrial environments.”

Superconductivity is the set of physical properties observed in certain materials, wherein electrical resistance vanishes and from which magnetic flux fields are expelled. Any material exhibiting these properties is a superconductor.

The findings are reported in PNAS.

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