A team of scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the University of Oslo in Norway has provided new insight into the superconductivity of magnesium diboride (MgB2), an unusual superconductor discovered only last year. The new result appears in the June 17, 2002 issue of Physical Review Letters.
Understanding the origin of superconductivity — the ability of some materials to conduct electricity without losing energy — will help scientists improve magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and the efficiency of electric power transmission, and build smaller, more powerful electronic devices.
Scientists usually assume that superconductivity arises from electrons coupling in pairs,” said Yimei Zhu, a physicist at Brookhaven’s Advanced Electron Microscopy Facility and lead author of the study. “Though this is the case for most superconductors, it has not been shown yet how electrons contribute to superconductivity in magnesium diboride. So we decided to look more closely at this material’s electronic structure.”
Karen McNulty Walsh | EurekAlert!
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