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.
Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems
08.12.2016 | Nagoya Institute of Technology
Will Earth still exist 5 billion years from now?
08.12.2016 | KU Leuven
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
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