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Title: Superconductivity found in meteorites

Abstract

Meteorites can contain a wide range of material phases due to the extreme environments found in space and are ideal candidates to search for natural superconductivity. However, meteorites are chemically inhomogeneous, and superconducting phases in them could potentially be minute, rendering detection of these phases difficult. To alleviate this difficulty, we have studied meteorite samples with the ultrasensitive magnetic field modulated microwave spectroscopy (MFMMS) technique [J. G. Ramírez, A. C. Basaran, J. de la Venta, J. Pereiro, I. K. Schuller, Rep. Prog. Phys. 77, 093902 (2014)]. Here, we report the identification of superconducting phases in two meteorites, Mundrabilla, a group IAB iron meteorite [R. Wilson, A. Cooney, Nature 213, 274–275 (1967)] and GRA 95205, a ureilite [J. N. Grossman,Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 33, A221–A239 (1998)]. MFMMS measurements detected superconducting transitions in samples from each, above 5 K. By subdividing and remeasuring individual samples, grains containing the largest superconducting fraction were isolated. The superconducting grains were then characterized with a series of complementary techniques, including vibrating-sample magnetometry (VSM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), and numerical methods. Finally, these measurements and analysis identified the likely phases as alloys of lead, indium, and tin.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [2];  [1]
  1. Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States)
  2. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22). Materials Sciences & Engineering Division
OSTI Identifier:
1618399
Report Number(s):
BNL-215929-2020-JAAM
Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0012704; FA9550-14-1-0202
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 117; Journal Issue: 14; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
Publisher:
National Academy of Sciences
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; superconductivity; meteorites; extraterrestrial

Citation Formats

Wampler, James, Thiemens, Mark, Cheng, Shaobo, Zhu, Yimei, and Schuller, Ivan K. Superconductivity found in meteorites. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.1073/pnas.1918056117.
Wampler, James, Thiemens, Mark, Cheng, Shaobo, Zhu, Yimei, & Schuller, Ivan K. Superconductivity found in meteorites. United States. doi:https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1918056117
Wampler, James, Thiemens, Mark, Cheng, Shaobo, Zhu, Yimei, and Schuller, Ivan K. Mon . "Superconductivity found in meteorites". United States. doi:https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1918056117. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1618399.
@article{osti_1618399,
title = {Superconductivity found in meteorites},
author = {Wampler, James and Thiemens, Mark and Cheng, Shaobo and Zhu, Yimei and Schuller, Ivan K.},
abstractNote = {Meteorites can contain a wide range of material phases due to the extreme environments found in space and are ideal candidates to search for natural superconductivity. However, meteorites are chemically inhomogeneous, and superconducting phases in them could potentially be minute, rendering detection of these phases difficult. To alleviate this difficulty, we have studied meteorite samples with the ultrasensitive magnetic field modulated microwave spectroscopy (MFMMS) technique [J. G. Ramírez, A. C. Basaran, J. de la Venta, J. Pereiro, I. K. Schuller, Rep. Prog. Phys. 77, 093902 (2014)]. Here, we report the identification of superconducting phases in two meteorites, Mundrabilla, a group IAB iron meteorite [R. Wilson, A. Cooney, Nature 213, 274–275 (1967)] and GRA 95205, a ureilite [J. N. Grossman,Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 33, A221–A239 (1998)]. MFMMS measurements detected superconducting transitions in samples from each, above 5 K. By subdividing and remeasuring individual samples, grains containing the largest superconducting fraction were isolated. The superconducting grains were then characterized with a series of complementary techniques, including vibrating-sample magnetometry (VSM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), and numerical methods. Finally, these measurements and analysis identified the likely phases as alloys of lead, indium, and tin.},
doi = {10.1073/pnas.1918056117},
journal = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
number = 14,
volume = 117,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {3}
}

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