TSUKUBA, Ibaraki Pref. (Kyodo) Researchers at the National Institute for Materials Science have found that an iron compound becomes superconductive — where electrical resistance disappears in a substance — if it is dipped in wine, sake or beer.
“It is still not known what it is in sake that causes (the phenomenon), but it will provide a clue to the development of new superconductive materials,” said Yoshihiko Takano, leader of the Nano Frontier Materials Group at the institute.
The researchers said they first produced an iron telluride compound, which has a similar structure to a superconductive substance.
It didn’t immediately show signs of superconductivity but then did so after being left on a desk for about a week. Assuming that the change was due to moisture in the air, the researchers experimented with water, ethanol and other substances but couldn’t attain results showing high conductivity.
In March, Takano came up with the idea of trying alcoholic drinks after seeing a wide range of liquors at an institute party.
They found that the compound showed superconductivity after it was immersed for 24 hours in each of six types of liquors, including red wine, white wine, beer and sake, all heated up to 70 degrees. Red wine proved to be most effective.
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