Want superconductivity? Add red wine.


16 Responses to “Want superconductivity? Add red wine.”

  1. wibbled_pig says:

    Certainly gets my mouth running faster..

  2. It’s “Beaujolais”. Look at the individual letters. Even the original article got it wrong. My poor mother tongue is being massacred all over the place.

    • Chris Burch says:

      As someone for whom French orthography appears to consist of random letters jumbled together, I apologize in advance. You might think that I, as a native English speaker who writes words such as “might,” may have some appreciation; as it turns out, I do not. As an example, and I mean no personal disrespect to you, but your last name… alas!

  3. Wordguy says:

    Yes, red wine often affects me this way also.

  4. CH says:

    Uh-huh… yeah, sure! _Of course_ the best ones were not some non-fit-for-consumtion alcohol, but french wines.

  5. abstract_reg says:

    How exactly did they get the idea to put wires in wine?

    • MonkeyBoy says:

      That was my question too (though actually they are processing pellets not wires of FeTeS in wine.)

      Here is the paper Alcoholic beverages induce superconductivity in FeTe1 – xSx where they announced the discovery. In it they call it “amazing” but give no hint about why someone chanced to change the necessary water treatment to booze treatment.

      Maybe they were inspired by what I vaguely recall of the famous “tomato sandwich incident” where someone who grew frustrated that a chemical reaction only worked some of the time threw a tomato sandwich into it and found that that caused it to work every time.

      • william beaty says:

        From Fig. 3 in the paper, it appears that the material isn’t superconductive at all unless first processed in hot water/ethanol.

        So perhaps the great leap wasn’t in using red wine.  Instead it was in replacing the known hot water/ethanol step with other hot ethanol mixtures already handy in the lab.   I’m betting Saki.


    This reminds me I left the soldering iron turned on.  BRB…

  7. ahecht says:

    Is this article 3 days early?

  8. IcouldbeAaron says:

    But… hasn’t this been known (at least on some level) for literally millennia?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baghdad_Battery

  9. autark says:

     To be fair, I didn’t read very far into this (as in, the title and part of the first paragraph)… but I understand this to mean I will be some kind of super hero by drinking copious amounts of red wine.

    Noted, and thank you!

  10. william beaty says:

    The true story must be interesting.   Another accident like Penicillin?  Goodyear spilling a latex mixture on his woodstove.  The true genius then is in testing your department-party-contaminated samples, rather than throwing them out as any normal person would.

    Also, conductivity isn’t hard to grasp once the usual misconceptions are cleaned up.  “Conductor” is correctly defined as “medium which contains mobile charges.”  Any electrically charged object is a conductor, as long as it’s free to move around.  A pile of charged styrofoam peanuts is a conductor, since an applied voltage will make the peanuts leap through the air (and, motion of charged styrofoam is called electric current.)   The quantum weirdness only appears when we start talking about *metal* conduction, as opposed to non-electron conductors such as salt water, charged raindrops, etc.

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