Scientists said on Wednesday they had created a new form of matter and predicted it could help lead to the next generation of superconductors for use in electricity generation, more efficient trains and countless other applications.
The new matter form is called a fermionic condensate and it is the sixth known form of matter -- after gases, solids, liquids, plasma and a Bose-Einstein condensate, created only in 1995.
"What we've done is create this new exotic form of matter," Deborah Jin, a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology's joint lab with the University of Colorado, who led the study, told a news conference.
"It is a scientific breakthrough in providing a new type of quantum mechanical behavior," added Jin.
Jin and her colleagues' cloud of supercooled potassium atoms is one step closer to an everyday, usable superconductor -- a material that conducts electricity without losing any of its energy.
"It is related to a Bose-Einstein condensate," Jin said. "It's not a superconductor but it is really something in between these two that may help us in science link these two interesting behaviors."
News source: CNN