By: Sheng Ran
Nature often reveals itself in surprising ways, so scientists, who study nature, have a lot of opportunities to be surprised. Over the past year and a half, I have been working on UTe2, a simple compound made of two parts, uranium and tellurium, which I discovered is a superconductor. That is, it conducts electricity without resistance under certain conditions.
Superconductivity is exciting because it’s almost like a superpower: It can help scientists detect very weak brain activity, accelerate particles to nearly the speed of light, and potentially provide the building blocks for futuristic quantum computers that could solve complex problems our current computers can’t touch.