The holy grail, the breakthrough that could potentially save the planet from climate collapse, would be a practical fusion reactor. Hydrogen in, electricity and water vapor out.
With a fusion reactor we could turn off fossil fuels forever.
But a practical fusion reactor is likely a long way off (though there has recently been a lot of progress).
Our sun is a fusion reactor as are all the stars in the universe. As you can imagine, building a miniature version of our sun and containing it in a bottle is a rather difficult challenge.
You might recall back to 1989 when two scientists said they had invented cold fusion, a claim that sadly turned out to be false.
Why am I bringing this up? Because recently there has been another claim of a different sort—a claim that too would change the world forever.
A room temperature superconductor, called LK-99.
A superconducting material is an electrical/magnetic conductor without any resistance. Once thought to be the stuff of science fiction, scientists have for decades now been playing with superconducting materials. The hitch with these scientific curiosities is they only work at temperatures near absolute zero.
Not very practical for everyday use.
LK-99, if proven true, changes everything. Not only does it work at room temperatures, it's also cheap and easy to construct. What can we do with LK-99? Replacing our national electrical grid wiring with the material would save nearly 20% of the generated power that now goes into heat. We could make trains and cars that levitate off the ground.
A little closer to home, imagine an audio cable with zero resistance!
Interested in learning more? Watch this video.
Has anyone replicated it? Read this.
This may turn out just like cold fusion, or it may be the beginning of an entirely new era for humanity.
*ht: to Michael Beckerman for the story and continuing updates