Classification of quantum phenomena critical to high-temp superconductivity
A team of physicists led by researchers at Rice University has developed the first thermodynamic method for systematically classifying quantum phase transitions, mysterious electromagnetic transformations that are widely believed to play a critical role in high-temperature superconductivity.
The new research is described in two papers - one theoretical and one experimental - in the Aug. 8 issue of Physical Review Letters. The theoretical paper predicts that a mathematical irregularity called a divergence occurs at every "quantum critical point," a stage materials pass through as they change phases. The experimental paper reports the observation of such a divergence in the quantum critical points of two metals with very different quantum signatures.
Jade Boyd | EurekAlert!
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