The Electric Company

Look, no hands 

A friend recently told me about a scientific breakthrough that may change the world regarding effortlessly conducting electricity. He had me at change the world. First, I was excited, then asked if it was ready for primetime. He said that the new material was called LK-99 and that scientists have been working on it since 1999. However, In 2023, A team from South Korea University led by Lee Sukbae and Kim Ji-Hoon published preprints (scholarly or scientific paper) claiming that it acts as a room-temperature superconductor with zero resistance and Meissner effect at temperatures of up to 400 K (127 °C; 260 °F) at ambient pressure.

What does this mean? LK-99 is a material that is a room-temperature superconductor (all superconductors today need super cold temps [133 kelvin or -140°C/-288°F]).

As a result, it can conduct electricity with no resistance at room temperature, which would be a significant breakthrough in materials science.

Tepid 

In other words, superconductivity is when a solid at low temperatures shows zero resistance to the flow of electrical current. Therefore, it gives zero resistivity, meaning an electrical current can flow forever. Imagine powering up a battery in your car, phone, or laptop once with LK-99 and never having to recharge it again! Think of infinite electrical power. 

Super - Duper 

Here are some other examples of potential superconductor applications:

  • High-speed, low-loss electrical transmission
  • Superconducting magnets for medical imaging and particle accelerators
  • Quantum computing

If LK-99 is indeed a room-temperature superconductor, it would be a major step towards making these applications a reality. However, it is essential to note that the claims about LK-99 have yet to be peer-reviewed, and there is some skepticism in the scientific community about their accuracy. Remember my blog on J.P. Morgan and Tesla

If LK-99 is an actual room-temperature superconductor, it could revolutionize how we generate, transmit, and use electricity. It could make energy transmission more efficient and less costly, enabling new transportation, medicine, and computing applications. LK-99 could be a primary future technology for electricity. However, who would stand to lose if this became a reality? 

Losers 

  •  The electric power industry: LK-99 could make it possible to transmit electricity over long distances with much less loss, leading to lower power prices for consumers and businesses. Consequently, creating competition for traditional electric utilities, which would lose market share to new companies that use LK-99 technology. Currently, retail electricity sales in the United States generated a revenue of $424.3 billion, with a year-over-year increase of nearly eight percent.
  • The oil and gas industry: LK-99 could make it possible to generate electricity from renewable sources, such as solar and wind power, more efficiently. As a result, this could decrease demand for oil and gas, which could hurt the oil and gas industry. Presently oil and gas have generated $4 trillion in revenue annually. 
  • The copper industry: LK-99 could replace copper as the material of choice for electrical conductors. Again, see my blog on J.P. Morgan's copper and electricity supply investment. LK-99 would lead to decreased copper demand, which could hurt the copper industry. As of 2022, the global Copper market has grown to $171 Billion. 

I, for one, am grateful for these industries, as they have made our collective lives more comfortable. However, based on the sheer amount of revenue they generate, I wonder how LK-99 will fare in the current economy. Make no mistake, this technology is a game changer and could lead us to a more accessible and balanced energy distribution lifestyle. Think low cost, high usage. However, based on U.S. history, we've seen new technologies classified as a threat to U.S. security or simply purchased and put on a shelf, never to be used.

Competitive Advantage 

The scientists who discovered and validated LK-99 are from South Korea University. Interestingly, they found a way to eliminate resistance from the delivery of electricity, but not from competing peer-reviewed scientists.

To clarify, since this preprint was first published, research groups studying LK-99 have stated that it doesn't live up to the hype. "It's "NOT a superconductor," the University of Maryland's Condensed Matter Theory Center (CMTC) tweeted. It cited results from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-National Physical Laboratory in India and the International Center for Quantum Materials in China.

Let's take a closer look at both CSIR and the CQM. Both labs are located in the emerging markets of India and China. First, The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is a Public Corporation owned by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology in India. Their annual report shows yearly revenue for 2022 is $196.9M. NPL does business with corporations and nations from around the world. I did a cursory look at their product and service offerings and found that they developed Carbon Composite Bipolar Plates for Hydrogen based Fuel Cell Applications. 

Furthermore, they have also created the Dissemination of Measurement Traceability for UV Radiation. It provides the measurement traceability for UV radiation that helps to detect and contain the C-19 virus and other viral diseases.

The Power of Money

Second, The International Center for Quantum Materials (ICQM) was established in 2010 as a major enterprise of Peking University, aiming to create a new type of platform for research and education. Moreover, Peking University is a national public research university in Beijing, China. The university is affiliated with and sponsored by the Ministry of Education of China. A quick side note, China contributed $69.9 million to Harvard in 2022, outpacing all other countries. Harvard received 12.9 percent of the total funding given to American universities by Chinese sources — the most of any school.

In addition, the ICQM, owned by Peking University, has a holding company (read my blog on holding companies and how they help the rich get richer) named Peking University Resources (Holdings) Co., Ltd., also known as PKU Resources. The holding company is a Chinese-listed company with $5.59 billion in revenue in 2022. 

The company was incorporated in Bermuda and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Why would you incorporate a company in Bermuda? Because there are no taxes on profits, income, or dividends paid to a Bermuda company or its shareholders. Additionally, there is no capital gains tax, estate duty, or death duty. Subsequently, PKU is an indirect non-wholly-owned subsidiary of Peking University under the administration of the Ministry of Education. The company is broadly considered a state-owned enterprise in China.

What do you Do?

Above all, Peking University Resources (holdings) primarily distributes servers, printers, switches, networking products, storage devices, workstations, optical screen products, video conference hosts, conference controllers, codec, UPS power supply products, and notebook computers of various manufacturers, such as HP, H3C, CommScope, Apple, Microsoft, Corning, Lenovo, Huawei, DELL, IBM, Netgear, and SGI. The company also acts as a distribution channel for the products of other IT companies, such as LifeSize, BARCO, Fujitsu, Samsung, Brocade, Uniview, Librestream, Ruckus, and Impinj.

One last thought on the South Koren scientist Lee Sukbae and Kim Ji-Hoon from which the L and K for LK-99 were derived. Their country exports Integrated Circuits ($116B), Cars ($44.7B), Refined Petroleum ($36.4B), Motor vehicles, parts and accessories ($19.3B), and Office Machine Parts ($18B), exporting mainly to China ($158B), United States ($95.9B). Those two countries have significant influence over what South Korea creates and sells.

Read all About It! 

For the first time in our history, we are learning about a substance that can levitate over a magnet, increase electricity delivery speed, and doesn't require additional energy to function. Nevertheless, the media is sharing information from institutes and companies, denying the efficacy of LK-99.

Make no mistake, this technology is a game changer, and as I've pointed out above, the level of disruption will be huge. It will fundamentally change the way we use and store energy. Ensure you don't buy into the mainstream narrative that the technology is unsound science. If it weren't for unsound science, you'd be reading this blog on a stone tablet. 


Tags


You may also like

Birthplace of the Sun

Birthplace of the Sun

Freedom to an opinion

Freedom to an opinion
Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
 
 

Never miss a good story!

Subscribe to the Blue Sky email and keep up with my latest thoughts and ideas!