No superconductor has broken the record for the highest critical temperature since 1988, when a thalliumbearing compound, exhibiting resistanceless conduction at temperatures as high as 125 K, laid claim to the title. (See PHYSICS TODAY, April, 1988, page 21.) But in early May a group from ETH in Zurich reported measuring a superconducting transition several degrees above 130 K in a compound containing mercury together with barium, calcium, copper and oxygen. The researchers were not able to specify the exact stoichiometry of the new champion, because their sample consisted of several phases of the compound and they have been unable so far to separate out the phase that is responsible for the high Tc.

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