How society is harnessing energy today is impressive, but scientists remain ambitious. They’re working to generate more power. A recent experiment with graphene sheets has led scientists to rethink our energy potential. Generating more energy, losing less of it and sending it longer distances give scientists a plethora of inventions to dream of.
What Graphene can Achieve in Superconductivity
In the form of what looks like an elastic sheet, graphene is made up of carbon molecules. It’s engineered as a flexible sheet that’s exactly one atom thick. Graphene is used as a conductor of electricity and heat. It strengthens other materials and can extend the life of LED light bulbs. Graphene was discovered in 2004 but has been steadily improved since. What’s stirring the scientific world up is the potential for graphene to be used as a superconductor.
This theory developed after two sheets of the carbon synthetic were found with a charge during a controlled test. One sheet sat at a 1.1-degree angle from the other. This resulted in the first known occurrence of independent power—as generated from graphene. Graphene sheets are constructed with hexagonal grids within them that create friction when moved against other sheets. That friction is now capable of generating 200 milli-electron volts.
Conducting Power with Greater Ease
Science would have a great deal to think about if we generated electricity at higher rates. The “twisted graphene discovery” produced electricity without compromising its momentum or charge. Movement is required for graphene sheets to conduct energy, and that’s why they’re twisted into each other. The mathematical degree of each twist must be just above absolute zero. The result is a superconductor that could generate electricity at greater speeds.
What Graphene Ultimately Means for Science
With the prospect of becoming a new superconductor, the graphene breakthrough created a fresh sense of potential within the scientific community. Though no applications of the technology have been put into patent form, thinking of what can be done is itself revolutionary. Society has a new way to define how electricity can be transported. Power like these options can even charge our vehicles.
What is a Superconductor?
A device that conducts electricity is a conductor. Superconductors, however, are designed to reduce friction and to increase the flow of electricity, heat or energy. Superconductors maintain their currents as an endless cycle of undisturbed frequencies. If you examined the state of the currents that you sent into a superconductor, you would find them energized at the same levels that they entered the enclosure with.
The world’s most famous superconductor puts the potential of graphene into a larger perspective. The Hadron Collider holds particles and electric charges. It’s designed to move currents and even atoms at the speed of light. The use of this particular superconductor requires high-powered magnets; it was built as a tunnel that’s 100 kilometers long.
Why are Superconductors Important?
Conducting power allows us to send, generate and ultimately use energy. Electromagnetic waves, as sustained by a superconductor, gives us the power to make x-rays of our bodies. This technology is used in hospitals and in MRIs. Some trains are powered by superconductors. The future of hoverboards might even rely on this type of power.