Wine: good for superconductors, too

By Aimee Whitcroft 13/01/2011

A very quick pointer, for those who don’t see my tweets 🙂

red wine

Once again, rises to the fore*, with an interesting application for alcohol.

Not content with fighting cancer and improving lifespan, or being good for our bones (and I’m sure that research will at some point show that single malt whisky** is highly beneficial), it appears that alcohol is beneficial for superconductors!

Apparently, it’s a case (haha) of, um, lubricated*** scientists who decided to try soaking a particular material (FeTeO.8SO.2O) in various types of commercial booze, and then tested it for superconductivity.  Schochu increased superconductivity by over 20% but, and here’s the kicker, red wine did so by 62%****.


Research here.

And, to add a little lolcat: can haz moar drunk scientists?  Kthnxbai!


* Other times I’ve mentioned arXiv include articles on the teapot effect, shaking oneself dry, modelling cow behaviour, time, and science publishing.

** From Islay, preferably.  Donations welcome

*** Says this article

**** I shall refrain, with some difficulty, from making the obvious comparisons between the effect of red wine on these materials, and on people.

0 Responses to “Wine: good for superconductors, too”

  • Ok wow thats funny
    Just found this about super conductors..
    “May 27, 2014 – “Scientists researching superconductors at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) have discovered a previously unknown phase in a class of superconductors called iron arsenides. … The theory behind the older, “conventional” superconductors is fairly well understood. Pairs of electrons, which normally repel each other, instead bind together by distorting the atoms around them and help each other travel through the metal. (Whereas in a plain old conductor such as copper or aluminum, these electrons bounce off the atoms, producing heat). In “unconventional” superconductors, the electrons still form pairs, but its not understood what binds them together. … Neutron powder diffraction reveal(ed) both the locations of the atoms and the directions of their microscopic magnetic moments. …. Magnetic models, on the other hand … suggest that magnetic interactions are what drive the two-fold symmetry – and that they are the key to the superconductivity itself. Thus, perhaps what binds the pairs of electrons together in iron arsenide superconductors is magnetism.

    Osborn said, “Orbital theories do not predict a return to four-fold symmetry at this point, but magnetic models do. So far, this effect has only been observed experimentally in these sodium-doped compounds, but we believe it provides evidence for a magnetic explanation of nematic order in the iron arsenides in general.” Osborn points out the new information could also affect our understanding of superconductivity in other types of superconductors, such as the copper oxides, where nematic distortions have also been seen.”
    Can someone epxlain please ?