MgB2 Trades Performance for a Shot at the Real World

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Science  01 Feb 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5556, pp. 786-788
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5556.786

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Magnesium diboride (MgB) can't match the properties of high-temperature superconductors, but it is far easier to work with, which may prove even more valuable in the end. After just a year of working with this powdery black compound, researchers have already forged it into long wires, a feat some high-temperature superconductors have yet to match (see sidebar). But MgBstill faces numerous hurdles before anyone makes any money from it as a superconductor.