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LK-99 and Stagnation of scientific development in the past years

Atomic bomb by end of forties, semiconductors and computer age in sixties, moon landing in 1969. The future seemed bright at that time, people expected that we will drive flying cars by beginning of new millennium, colonise our planetary system. We ended up with “great” innovation of being able to order food from our sofa with our iPhone.

This is a common criticism, most heard from Peter Thiel – we lived through stagnation of real breakthrough in science for past decades. Commercial opportunities were able to attract more talent, interest and capital than important scientific R&D with significant potential upside.

Interestingly, you might heard that there was a potential breakthrough past week in superconductors in South Korea. And scientific community around the whole world is now working on replication of the studies published to confirm or deny this.

Superconductors? Huh?

Superconductors are materials with zero electrical resistance.
When electricity moves in materials, loss of energy happens. That loss might be even in range of 66% – from energy generation to end user. So with superconductive materials, you could drastically decrease energy prices worldwide and the need for energy generation.

Seems too good to be true. The reality is that some materials are superconductive only in really low temperatures (think quantum computers with liquid nitrogen).

Some scientists have devoted their whole professional lives to the exploration of superconductors at room temperature, a number one goal in material science. And even if it is not clear whether the breakthrough will be really confirmed, it is trully exciting to feel that we might be moving forward toward a technologically and scientifically more advanced future, out of stagnation. Innovating not only on the “digital” level with AI but also on the level of scientific challenges, in this case the material science.

  • What could be the impact of this room-temperature superconductive material called LK-99?
  • rebuilding energy generation
  • rebuilding energy transition and storage
  • advancement in quantum computing
  • fast and efficient magnetic-levitation trains
  • potentially lower energy prices, with an effect on feasibility of carbon capture
  • and many more second order effects
  • potential of 4.5 trillion USD impact

Read more in tweet of Andrew Cote.

I admire work of many deep-tech focused venture capital investors and mostly fully devoted academics pushing the boundaries forward, even if the innovation or breakthrough cycles are getting longer and longer.

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Author: Andrej Petrus