Superconducting Bismuth Is Real, and It's Forcing Us to Rethink the Nature of Superconductivity
A Nobel Prize-winning theory has been challenged.
By Bec Crew

Bismuth is one of the weirdest-looking elements on the Periodic Table, but its internal properties just got even stranger. Scientists have discovered that at a fraction of a degree above absolute zero (-273.15°C), bismuth becomes a superconductor - a material that can conduct electricity without resistance.

According to the current theory of superconductivity, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, because for 40 years now, scientists have assumed that superconducting materials must be abundant in free-flowing mobile electrons. But in bismuth, there’s just one mobile electron for every 100,000 atoms.

“In general, compounds that exhibit superconductivity have roughly one mobile electron per atom,” Srinivasan Ramakrishnan from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in India explained to Chemistry World.

“However, in bismuth, one mobile electron is shared by 100,000 atoms – since [the] carrier density is so small, people did not believe bismuth will superconduct.”

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It’s not always easy to understand Rose’s choices… but we have to stand behind them.

Okay, so–a while back I posed the question of what would happen if two Sapphires met and started looking at the future at the same time (because Sapphire sees how people will act when given the information she gives them; she thought that a fixture of fate, but it DOES change things in subtle ways), and I’ve sort of plotted out a little Thing about it.  Granted, I’m not done with the show (I’ve only liveblogged up to Earthlings as of writing this, for those just tuning in), but it makes sense with what I’ve seen so far.

Steven and Connie are sitting with Garnet and asking her about gem stuff, and Connie asks:

“So, wait, Sapphires can see the future, right?”

“Sort of.  Sapphire could see one future, before she met Ruby.  Now she–and I–can see possibility.”

“Looking at the future changes it, right?”


“So what happens if two Sapphires start looking at the future at the same time?”

Garnet pauses, smiles, and shouts–“AMETHYST!  STORY TIME!"  Amethyst jumps through the window and somersaults to a spot next to the kids, and Garnet says "You see, there’s a reason Sapphires keep their eyes covered…” as we transition to a shot of Ruby and Sapphire and a couple other Crystal Gems regrouping in a Gem structure here on Earth during the rebellion.

Sapphire hands out directions–she’s going after one artifact, Ruby after another, a couple of the others after a third and the final group after the fourth.  She runs down a hall, avoiding the Homeworld Gems in the hallways, but as she rounds a corner, she comes face-to-face with a Homeworld Sapphire–because this was a trap, one set for her specifically, meant to remove the rebellion’s ability to utilize her future vision.  She springs backwards, but it’s too late–they lock eyes, and the trap is sprung; both freeze in place.  Each tries to move, but as if paralyzed by some unseen force–which they are–all they can manage is small twitches; but with every twitch, the corridor between them begins to frost over.  Ice crystals grow from the walls, and electricity begins to arc, and between them, space begins to warp–because when two Sapphires look into the future in close proximity, the feedback loop of small alterations begins to overload them and, eventually, destroys local space-time in a bubble around them.

But Sapphire has something her Homeworld counterpart doesn’t.

Ruby rounds the corner behind her, looking to regroup now that she’s retrieved her goal; she tries to shake Sapphire out of her reverie unsuccessfully, and when she tries to move to block Sapphire’s vision, she finds that pockets of atmosphere are moving at different speeds through time.  Some places are like moving through mud, others are like being pushed forward; still others are like quicksand, making it hard to pull out of them, but she struggles through them all, summons her gauntlet, and punches the Homeworld Sapphire directly in her face, poofing her and freeing OUR Sapphire.

I’m not…entirely sure how to finish it, but that’s the basic idea
World’s highest plants discovered growing 6km above sea level
Coin-sized pioneers are the highest vascular plants ever found, living at more than 6100 metres above sea level on India’s dizzying Himalayan peaks
By Aisling Irwin

Plants have been found growing at a record-breaking height of 6150 metres above sea level for the first time.

Six species of cushion plants have been discovered clinging to a gravelly south-west-facing patch no bigger than a football pitch on Mount Shukule II in the Ladakh region of India.

This sets a record for vascular plants, although algae and mosses can grow even higher because they are more tolerant to drought and frost.

A team led by Jiri Dolezal, of the Institute of Botany at the Czech Academy of Sciences in Průhonice, endured nausea and extreme fatigue studying how plants respond to warming in a location five days’ journey away from the nearest road…