In 1983 the two men began systematically testing newly developed ceramic
materials known as oxides in the hope that such substances could act
as superconductors. In their efforts Bednorz was the experimenter in
charge of the actual making and testing of the oxides. In 1986 the two
men succeeded in achieving superconductivity in a barium-lanthanum-copper
oxide at a temperature of 35 kelvins (-238 C [-396 F]), 12 K higher
than the highest temperature at which superconductivity had previously
been achieved in any substance.
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