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High-temperature superconducting secrets solved after 30 years

High-temperature superconducting secrets solved after 30 years | innovation | Scoop.it

A breakthrough has been made in identifying the origin of superconductivity in high-temperature superconductors, which has puzzled researchers for the past three decades.

 

Harnessing the enormous technological potential of high-temperature superconductors – which could be used in lossless electrical grids, next-generation supercomputers and levitating trains – could be much more straightforward in future, as the origin of superconductivity in these materials has finally been identified.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have found that ripples of electrons, known as charge density waves or charge order, create twisted 'pockets' of electrons in these materials, from which superconductivity emerges. The results are published in the June 15th issue of the journal Nature.

 

Low-temperature, or conventional, superconductors were first identified in the early 20th century, but they need to be cooled close to absolute zero (zero degrees on the Kelvin scale, or -273 degrees Celsius) before they start to display superconductivity. So-called high-temperature superconductors however, can display the same properties at temperatures up to 138 Kelvin (-135 degrees Celsius), making them much more suitable for practical applications.

 

Key to conventional superconductors are the interactions of electrons with the lattice structure of the material. These interactions generate a type of 'glue' which holds the electrons together. The strength of the glue is directly related to the strength of the superconductor, and when the superconductor is exposed to an increase in temperature or magnetic field strength, the glue is weakened, the electron pairs break apart and superconductivity is lost.

 

"One of the problems with high-temperature superconductors is that we don't know how to find new ones, because we don't actually know what the ingredients are that are responsible for creating high-temperature superconductivity in the first place," said Dr Suchitra Sebastian of the Cavendish Laboratory, lead author of the paper. "We know there's some sort of glue which causes the electrons to pair up, but we don't know what that glue is."

 

In order to decode what makes high-temperature superconductors tick, the researchers worked backwards: by determining what properties the materials have in their normal, non-superconducting state, they might be able to figure out what was causing superconductivity.

 

Previous attempts to determine the origins of superconductivity by determining the normal state have used temperature instead of magnetic field to break the electron pairs apart, which has led to inconclusive results.

As cuprates are such good superconductors, it took the strongest magnetic fields in the world – 100 Tesla, or roughly one million times stronger than the Earth's magnetic field – in order to suppress their superconducting properties.

 

These experiments were finally able to solve the mystery surrounding the origin of pockets of electrons in the normal state that pair to create superconductivity. It was previously widely held that electron pockets were located in the region of strongest superconductivity. Instead, the present experiments using strong magnetic fields revealed a peculiar undulating twisted pocket geometry -similar to Jenga bricks where each layer goes in a different direction to the one above or beneath it.

 

These results pinpointed the pocket locations to be where superconductivity is weakest, and their origin to be ripples of electrons known as charge density waves, or charge order. It is this normal state that is overridden to yield superconductivity in the family of cuprate superconductors studied.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Enrico De Angelis's insight:

innovation in wires!

super capacity (and no more batteries) and superconductivity

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A Lesson on Innovation - Starbucks Case Study

A Lesson on Innovation - Starbucks Case Study | innovation | Scoop.it
Coffee isn't that innovative, but the slow-roaster giant, Starbucks can teach us a thing or two on innovation and how to be successful in a diluted industry
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The role of ego in academic profile services: Comparing Google Scholar, ResearchGate, Mendeley, and ResearcherID

The role of ego in academic profile services: Comparing Google Scholar, ResearchGate, Mendeley, and ResearcherID | innovation | Scoop.it
Academic profiling services are a pervasive feature of scholarly life. Alberto Martín-Martín, Enrique Orduna-Malea and Emilio Delgado López-Cózar discuss the advantages and disadvantages of major p…...
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Bioedilizia, se l’ecomattone cresce come il corallo

Bioedilizia, se l’ecomattone cresce come il corallo | innovation | Scoop.it
Bioedilizia, con BioMason sabbia e batteri formano un mattone ecologico prodotto a emissioni zero e con la capacità di assorbire CO2.
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Alla scoperta degli alberghi diffusi, "invenzione" Italiana

Alla scoperta degli alberghi diffusi, "invenzione" Italiana | innovation | Scoop.it

Case diffuse nei borghi abitati con tutti i servizi dell'accoglienza garantiti. Sono gli Alberghi Diffusi. Ce li racconta Giancarlo Dall'Ara

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You can learn more about innovation from Renaissance Florence than from Silicon Valley

You can learn more about innovation from Renaissance Florence than from Silicon Valley | innovation | Scoop.it
Lessons in business and management from the Medicis.
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Che cos'è l'open innovation (e perché tutti dicono di volerla fare)

Che cos'è l'open innovation (e perché tutti dicono di volerla fare) | innovation | Scoop.it

Che cos'è l'open innovation (e perché tutti dicono di volerla fare)
Il modello di innovazione per cui le aziende ricorrono anche a risorse provenienti dall'esterno (startup, università...) sta diventando sempre più...

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Quinze ans de politiques d'innovation en France

Quinze ans de politiques d'innovation en France | innovation | Scoop.it
Ce rapport est la première production de la Commission nationale d’évaluation des politiques d’innovation. Son élaboration s’est avérée nécessaire lorsqu’il est apparu que le système de soutien à l’innovation mis en place au fil des années était devenu d’une complexité telle que nul n’était en mesure d’en donner une description raisonnée et complète.
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US solar industry now employs more workers than oil and gas, says report

US solar industry now employs more workers than oil and gas, says report | innovation | Scoop.it

Growth in the solar industry was not shared equally across all types of jobs in 2015 – employees of installation companies accounted for 65% of jobs added

Enrico De Angelis's insight:

another fundamental driver: money.

Innovation is demanded where there is money and a saving potential

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Northwestern University Engineers Innovate 3D Printing of Metals and Alloys

Northwestern University Engineers Innovate 3D Printing of Metals and Alloys | innovation | Scoop.it

Engineers from Northwestern University have created a new technique to print 3D metallic objects without relying on metal powder beds, and expensive electron beams or lasers.

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Solare termodinamico: addio oli e sali, basta solo la sabbia

Solare termodinamico: addio oli e sali, basta solo la sabbia | innovation | Scoop.it

Dimostrato negli Emirati Arabi come la sabbia possa essere impiegata con successo negli impianti di solare termodinamico, senza un fluido termovettore.

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CES 2016, il frigo Samsung permette di far la spesa sul display dello sportello - Wired

CES 2016, il frigo Samsung permette di far la spesa sul display dello sportello - Wired | innovation | Scoop.it

Family Hub offre calendario condiviso, musica e filmati in streaming e l'app Groceries sviluppata con Mastercard, per far la spesa direttamente dal frigo

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We Need to Expand the Definition of Disruptive Innovation

We Need to Expand the Definition of Disruptive Innovation | innovation | Scoop.it

"Zipcar counts as a disruptive innovation. Uber doesn’t. The latter is according to Clayton Christensen, Michael Raynor, and Rory McDonald in their recent HBR article “What is Disruptive Innovation?” The authors explain that disruption “describes a process whereby a smaller company with fewer resources is able to successfully challenge established incumbent businesses.” They also write that “disruptive innovations originate in low-end or new-market footholds.”


Via Carlos Fosca
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Carlos Fosca's curator insight, January 7, 2016 11:22 AM

Interesantes reflexiones de Robin Chase, creador de ZipcarVeniam acerca de lo que entendemos hoy en día sobre innovación disruptiva más allá de las definiciones originales establecidas por sus principales estudiosos como Clayton Christensen. El ejemplo de que Uber no encaja en la definición de innovación disruptiva, porque, según los entendidos, no aporta nada nuevo en términos de servicio a bajo costo y de nuevo mercado: es en esencia un servicio de Taxi. Sin embargo, como el autor mismo refiere, la disrupción radicaría en usar muy acertadamente la tecnología para impulsar la economía colaborativa (peer economy) y desarrollar un servicio que, usando tu propio vehículo aproveche la capacidad instalada que tienes para transportar a más personas mientras te mueves por la ciudad. Si fuera así el modelo Airbnb tampoco sería disruptivo. En fin, creo que en el campo de la innovación disruptiva todavía hay mucho que definir y redefinir.

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Innovation Excellence | Measuring Change Readiness

Innovation Excellence | Measuring Change Readiness | innovation | Scoop.it

During the course of any change initiative many different challenges will appear, and the most successful change efforts will anticipate those challenges and have a plan for dealing with them.

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When it comes to a shift to low-carbon energy, key players need a history lesson | Andrew Simms

When it comes to a shift to low-carbon energy, key players need a history lesson | Andrew Simms | innovation | Scoop.it
Andrew Simms: From railway rollouts to post-war ‘homes for heroes’, history shows us that societies are capable of great and rapid transition in response to a known challenge with clear targets...
Enrico De Angelis's insight:
what we need is the strenght of some idea, politics, I would say
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Rescooped by Enrico De Angelis from Personal & collective knowledge management
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Cambio di cultura

Cambio di cultura | innovation | Scoop.it
Il digitale trasforma completamente il modo di lavorare e l’organizzazione delle aziende. Il punto vero per innovare non è solo sviluppare competenze digitali, ma aiutare le organizzazioni a cambiare le loro culture interne

Via Pierre Levy
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Lo shopping on line aumenta l'inquinamento invece di ridurlo

Lo shopping on line aumenta l'inquinamento invece di ridurlo | innovation | Scoop.it

Con il commercio su internet si risparmia del tempo, ma aumenta il traffico sulla rete stradale e il tasso di inquinamento nell'aria.

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Rescooped by Enrico De Angelis from Everything is related to everything else
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Science and Technology Indicators - compare your country by OECD

Science and Technology Indicators - compare your country by OECD | innovation | Scoop.it

Via Fernando Gil
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Open Innovation: le aziende sono davvero pronte? | Consulenza e Innovazione - Ars et Inventio

Open Innovation: le aziende sono davvero pronte? | Consulenza e Innovazione - Ars et Inventio | innovation | Scoop.it

La open innovation è necessaria per sopravvivere ma chi si rivolge all'esterno ha bisogno di un'oraganizzazione pronta ad interagire con le startup

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[Dis Flavie] C’est quoi un philanthropreneur / philentrepreneur ?

[Dis Flavie]  C’est quoi un philanthropreneur / philentrepreneur ? | innovation | Scoop.it
Cette semaine, penchons sur cet hybride de la philanthropie et de l’entrepreneuriat, un terme sous lequel on peut classer plusieurs personnes, voire…

Via Emmanuelle de Petigny
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Il filantroprenditore è un bel dire!

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Are historians the ideal futurists?

Are historians the ideal futurists? | innovation | Scoop.it

Is history really future studies in reverse? Panel at recent gathering of historians' association makes case for teaching the future.

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China's love hotel boom shows nation's changing attitudes to sex

China's love hotel boom shows nation's changing attitudes to sex | innovation | Scoop.it

Hundreds of short-stay rooms are opening as entrepreneurs see opportunties with shift in sexual mores

Enrico De Angelis's insight:

why to scoop in an innovation post collection? Sex is a fundamental driver for a huge series of innovations

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A nanophotonic comeback for incandescent bulbs?

A nanophotonic comeback for incandescent bulbs? | innovation | Scoop.it
Using nanotechnology, researchers have combined the warm look of traditional light bulbs with 21st-century energy efficiency to potentially save incandescent bulbs from oblivion.
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IoT, in USA permetteranno un risparmio di 4,6 trilioni in 7 anni

IoT, in USA permetteranno un risparmio di 4,6 trilioni in 7 anni | innovation | Scoop.it

La crescita esponenziale di internet delle cose, IoT, si tradurrà in un enorme risparmio economico, negli USA in 7 anni si spenderanno 4,6 trilioni in meno.

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Chi sono gli Animatori digitali nelle scuole italiane - Wired

Chi sono gli Animatori digitali nelle scuole italiane - Wired | innovation | Scoop.it

Al via la sperimentazione che vuole portare in aula, grazie ai docenti, gli obiettivi del piano nazionale per la scuola digitale, con gli Animatori digitali

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Innovation Excellence | 6 Reasons Innovation is a Survival Skill

Innovation Excellence | 6 Reasons Innovation is a Survival Skill | innovation | Scoop.it

Many articles these days talk about reasons why companies should consider innovation as a core discipline. A quick Google search on “why innovate” produces 23,600,000 results.

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