thenewenlightenmentage: The science that stumped Einstein
In 1908, the physics world woke up to a puzzle whose layers have continued to stump the greatest scientists of the century ever since. That year, Dutch physicist Kamerlingh Onnes cooled mercury down to -450° Fahrenheit and discovered—to his astonishment—that it could conduct electricity perfectly. And then for the next 50 years, no one could explain why.
Ordinary wires, even really good ones like copper, lose up to a third of the electricity they carry over long distances. But these materials, called superconductors, don’t lose any energy. Ever. You could start a current in a loop of superconducting wire and it would circle around, theoretically, forever.
That’s really cool to read about! It would be so neat to do research in superconductors.