delivering accurate contingencies formulating definitive futures calculating contingent wisdom composing critical understanding exploring calibrated forecasts mapping the future crowdsourcing critical insights forecasting calibrated contingencies composing definitive wisdom composing definitive forecasts formulating precise estimations predicting calibrated forecasts crowdsourcing accurate understanding mapping predictive predictions


Metaculus Help: Spread the word

If you like Metaculus, tell your friends! Share this question via Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.

Will engineers create a material with a melting point higher than 4300K (and hence any other substance) by 2021?

Materials scientists do some astonishing work. Behold titanium foam, aerogel, a.k.a. "frozen smoke", and multiferroics.

But no material is cooler than tantalum hafnium carbide. To be more precise, no other material currently engineered can stay "cool" (that is, solid) at temperatures approaching 4200 K. For reference, that's about 2/3rds the temperature of the sun's surface!

Can engineers do better, though? Researchers at Brown University say:.

new calculations suggest that an optimal composition of hafnium, nitrogen, and carbon — HfN0.38C0.51 — is a promising candidate to set a new mark.

Will this new material – or some other compound – break (or should we say "melt") the melting point record by 2021?

Result is positive if a paper appears in a trusted, peer reviewed journal confirming the creation of a substance with a higher melting point than 4300 K by 2021. (That's above the record, but below the predicted melting point of HfN0.38C0.51.)


Metaculus help: Predicting

Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.

The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available.

The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.

This question is not yet open for predictions.

Thanks for predicting!

Your prediction has been recorded anonymously.

Want to track your predictions, earn points, and hone your forecasting skills? Create an account today!

Track your predictions
Continue exploring the site

Community Stats

Metaculus help: Community Stats

Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.

When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.

Embed this question

You can use the below code snippet to embed this question on your own webpage. Feel free to change the height and width to suit your needs.