According to reports, Japanese scientist Yoichi Kamihara has discovered a zero resistance superconductor. Layered in iron and stabilized with phosphorous, the superconductor has a negative resistance at 269º Celsius. Currently he is researching ways to replace the phosphorous with other elements including arsenic.
It’s no mystery that scientists are looking for ways for superconductors to function at room temperature without resistance (loss of energy). Iron-based superconductors are fairly new and still in the experimental stages, labeled as the "next generation of high temperature superconductors." Over the last 20 years, copper was the key element in superconductors that worked above liquid-helium temperatures.
But a high-temperature superconductor with zero resistance at room temperature means that there is no need for coolant systems filled to the brim with liquid nitrogen. The superconductor doesn’t overheat and doesn’t require an absolute zero atmosphere, thus providing a steady stream of energy without deterioration. Generally, superconductivity usually occurs in low temperature environments. Currently, brittle ceramics are the commonly used superconductors, but are difficult to reshape (wires etc) and are extremely expensive.
Working out of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Kamihara’s discovery is certainly a prominent one. The implications of the discovery could be phenomenal and even devastating to certain portions of the technological market. Right now the biggest usage of superconductivity stems from the medical field, creating the stable magnetic fields used in MRI and NMR. A superconductor that doesn’t require cooling is not only good for the environment, but good for the end-user’s wallet.