Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers bridge superconductivity gap

01.04.2005


University of California scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory working with a researcher from Chonnam National University in South Korea have found that magnetic fluctuations appear to be responsible for superconductivity in a compound called plutonium-cobalt-pentagallium (PuCoGa5). The discovery of this "unconventional superconductivity" may lead scientists to a whole new class of superconducting materials and toward the goal of eventually synthesizing "room-temperature" superconductors.



In research reported in today’s edition of the scientific journal Nature, Nicholas Curro and a team of researchers provide evidence of how magnetic fluctuations, rather than interactions mediated by tiny vibrations in the underlying crystal structure, may be responsible for the electron pairing that produces superconductivity in the mixture of plutonium, cobalt and gallium.

Superconductivity is an unusual state of matter in which electrical current flows without resistance through a material as a result of the material’s electrons acting in pairs. Since the discovery at Los Alamos of PuCoGa5 roughly two years ago, a burning question has been whether the compound was just another garden-variety superconductor, a so-called s-wave superconductor, or an unconventional one that is mediated by magnetic fluctuations, a d-wave superconductor.


Although the temperatures at which superconductivity is observed are usually quite low, a handful of compounds like PuCoGa5 have been found to possess superconductivity at temperatures warmer than minus 427 degrees Fahrenheit. Even though that temperature seems low, PuCoGa5 possesses highest superconducting transition temperature among actinide based compounds found so far. This "unconventional superconductivity" suggests that PuCoGa5 may be one of a very small handful of superconductors whose superconductivity actually derives from magnetic correlations.

Scientists theorize that having found one unconventional superconductor like PuCoGa5, they may find more in the future. Making the research even more intriguing is the fact that plutonium is a base actinide material of the compound. This new class of magnetically mediated superconductors might encompass a broad range of materials, metals to oxides, and be the path toward superconductor science’s ultimate goal to someday synthesize a "room-temperature" superconductor that would be the basis for the dissipation-less flow of electric current through power lines, and for an even more minute generation of computer chips. The discovery is the result of collaboration between the Laboratory’s Materials Science and Technology and Theoretical divisions. In addition to Curro, the team includes Tod Caldwell, Eric Bauer, Luis Morales, Yunkyu Bang, Matthias Graf, Alexander Balatsky, Joe Thompson and John Sarrao.

Todd Hanson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.lanl.gov

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Researchers take next step toward fusion energy
16.11.2017 | Texas A&M University

nachricht Desert solar to fuel centuries of air travel
16.11.2017 | SolarPACES

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Corporate coworking as a driver of innovation

22.11.2017 | Business and Finance

PPPL scientists deliver new high-resolution diagnostic to national laser facility

22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Quantum optics allows us to abandon expensive lasers in spectroscopy

22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>