Scandium superconducts at the highest temperature for a pure element

Scandium is the high-temperature record holder for a pure element superconducting

Phil Degginger / Alamy Stock Photo

The silvery metal scandium can be made into a superconductor without having to be mixed with other substances, and this occurs at higher temperatures than for any other element. The process still requires extreme cold and pressure, but the discovery could help us engineer more practical materials with zero electrical resistance.

Superconductors – materials that conduct electricity without the electrical resistance that leads to wasted energy – have been studied intensively for over a century because of their promise …

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