A group of researchers at the University of Rochester report that they have created a new superconductor that can operate at room temperature and a much lower pressure than previously discovered superconducting materials. Superconductors demonstrate what physicists call the Meissner effect, when a material expels its magnetic field. If you put a superconductor near a magnet, it will levitate. For the new study, which was published Wednesday in the journal Nature, the researchers tweaked their superconductor recipe—adding nitrogen and a rare-earth metal known as lutetium to the hydrogen instead of sulfur and carbon—and once again heated and squeezed it in the diamond anvil cell. They named the resulting material “,” after observing how the material’s hue changed from blue to pink to red as it got compressed. The Rochester lab found that “reddmatter” could exist at 69 degrees Fahrenheit and 145,000 pounds per square inch, or psi, of pressure—about 1/360th of the pressure in Earth’s core. That is about a 10-degree Fahrenheit increase in temperature and a drop to about 1/1000th of pressure compared with its predecessor from 2020.
- Date Posted:
- March 9, 2023
The return to cognitive skills has declined since 2000. A one standard deviation increase in the Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT) score – a widely-used measure of cognitive skill – was associated with about 10 percent higher hourly wages in the 1980s and early 1990s but only 4.5 percent in the 2000s and early 2010s. In contrast, the economic return to a bachelor’s degree increased by 6 percentage points unconditionally and by nearly 15 percentage points after controlling directly for cognitive skills in both waves. What are the implications of the growing importance of social skills for the wage structure? Social skill-intensive occupations grew by nearly 12 percentage points as a share of all jobs in the U.S. economy between 1980 and 2012, and real hourly wages for these jobs grew around 25 percent compared to less than 10 percent for other occupations. This suggests growing relative demand for social skill, and flat or declining demand for cognitive skill. However, because these skills are complements, the jobs with the most employment and earnings growth are those where both types of skill are required. Evidence suggests that cognitive skills and social skills are conceptually distinct and that they work together in non-obvious ways to explain an important recent trend in the wage structure – rising returns to education and social skills, but declining returns to cognitive skills.