A team of international researchers led by physicists in the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering have made a significant breakthrough in an effort to understand the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity in complex copper-oxides—one of the most studied scientific topics in history.
The University of Minnesota researchers and their international colleagues from Germany, France and China report the discovery of a novel type of magnetic wave involving oxygen atoms. The new findings could have implications for improving superconducting electric wires used in national electrical grids.
The study by lead author Martin Greven, an associate professor in the university's School of Physics and Astronomy, is published in the Nov. 11 issue of Nature together with a "News and Views" introduction. The research is also scheduled to be highlighted in the journal Science.
"Following the Nobel-Prize winning discovery of high-temperature superconductivity in complex copper-oxide materials in the mid 1980s, the effort to understand this phenomenon has been one of the major scientific challenges in the field of physics for the past quarter century, with more than 100,000 publications on the topic," Greven said.
"While the commercialization of these complex copper-oxide materials, in the form of superior electric wires, has recently begun, physicists have not yet been able to solve the mystery of why these exotic materials are superconducting in the first place. The materials' unusual magnetism is often argued to be responsible for their superconductivity," Greven added.
In their experiments, the researchers bombarded the copper-oxide crystals with intense beams of neutrons. The neutrons themselves are magnetic, and by carefully measuring how these particles are scattered from the crystals, the research team was able to show the existence of unusual magnetic waves involving oxygen atoms.
"We believe that our discovery sheds new light on this hotly debated subject of superconductivity," Greven said.
Other members of the research team include two of Greven's former Ph.D. students, Guichuan Yu, University of Minnesota, School of Physics and Astronomy, and Yuan Li, now at the Max Planck Institute, Stuttgart, Germany; V. Balédent , Y. Sidis and P. Bourges, Laboratoire Léon Brillouin, Gif sur Yvette, France; N. Bariši, Physikalisches Institut, Universitat Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany; K. Hradil, Institut fur Physikalisches Chemie, Universitat Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany; R.A. Mole, Forschungsneutronenquelle Heinz Maier-Leibnitz, Garching, Germany; P. Steffens, Institut Laue Langevin, France; and X. Zhao State Key Lab of Inorganic Synthesis and Preparative Chemistry, College of Chemistry, Jilin University, Changchun, China.
More information on the research can be found on the Nature website at: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v468/n7321/full/nature09477.html
Rhonda Zurn | EurekAlert!
Significantly more productivity in USP lasers
06.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
Shape matters when light meets atom
05.12.2016 | Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore
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,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
06.12.2016 | Materials Sciences
06.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering