The advance is the result of investigative work done at the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Center for Neutron Research (NCNR), and at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) at Florida State University (FSU).
Stray magnetic fields suppress superconductivity, the resistance-free passage of electric current. But the object of the team's scrutiny—a uranium-ruthenium-silicon compound (URu2Si2)—somehow accommodates the normal adversity between magnetism and superconductivity. At 17.5 degrees above absolute zero, once-nomadic electrons that had roamed freely about the compound's lattice-like atomic structure—and generated their own magnetic fields—behave in a more orderly and cooperative fashion. This coherence sets the stage for superconductivity.
URu2Si2 belongs to a class of materials called heavy fermions, known to be reluctant superconductors. This is because current-carrying electrons in the intermetallic material interact with surrounding particles and truly gain from the experience. The association adds mass—making the electrons behave as though they were a few hundred times more massive than "normal." The heavy electrons once were thought to make superconductivity impossible.
However, numerous heavy fermion superconductors now are known, and URu2Si2 ranks among the most curious of the lot.
Unexplained was how a "hidden order" suddenly arose in the wake of the magnetic instabilities caused by the roving electrons, each one spinning and producing its own miniature magnetic field. With neutron probes, researchers managed to track electron movements and determined that the wandering particles work out an unexpected accommodation in the spacing of their energy levels.
Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling
29.03.2017 | New Jersey Institute of Technology
NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts
28.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
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