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Phys.Org Mobile: A counterintuitive phenomenon discovered: The coexistence of superconductivity with dissipation

Phys.Org Mobile: A counterintuitive phenomenon discovered: The coexistence of superconductivity with dissipation | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

For his doctoral dissertation in the Goldman Superconductivity Research Group at the University of Minnesota, Yu Chen, now a postdoctoral researcher at UC Santa Barbara, developed a novel way to fabricate superconducting nanocircuitry. However, the extremely small zinc nanowires he designed did some unexpected—and sort of funky—things.

 


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Bose-Einstein Condensate Made at Room Temperature for First Time

Bose-Einstein Condensate Made at Room Temperature for First Time | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

The quantum mechanical phenomena, known as Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC), was first demonstrated in 1995 when experiments proved that the septuagenarian theory did in fact exist in the physical world. Of course, to achieve the phenomena a state of near absolute zero (-273 Celsius, -459 Fahrenheit) had to be created.

 

Now researchers at IBM’s Binnig and Rohrer Nano Center have been able to achieve the BEC at room temperature using a specially developed polymer, a laser, and some mirrors.

 

IBM believes that this experiment could potentially be used in the development of novel optoelectronic devices, including energy-efficient lasers and ultra-fast optical switches. One application for BEC is for the building of so-called atom lasers, which could have applications ranging from atomic-scale lithography to measurement and detection of gravitational fields.

 

For the first time, the IBM team achieved it at room temperature by placing a thin polymer film—only 35 nanometers thick—between two mirrors and then shining a laser into the configuration. The bosonic particles are created as the light travels through the polymer film and bounces back and forth between the two mirrors.

 

While this BEC state of matter only lasts for a few picoseconds (trillionths of a second), the IBM researchers believe that it exists long enough to create a source of laser-like light or an optical switch that could be used in optical interconnects.

 

“That BEC would be possible using a polymer film instead of the usual ultra-pure crystals defied our expectations,” said Dr. Thilo Stöferle, a physicist, at IBM Research, in a press release. “It’s really a beautiful example of quantum mechanics where one can directly see the quantum world on a macroscopic scale.”

 

Now that the researchers have managed to trigger the effect, they are now looking to gain more control over it. In the process they will be evaluating how the effect could best be exploited for a range of applications. One interesting application that will be examined is using the BEC in analog quantum simulations for such macroscopic quantum phenomena as superconductivity, which is extremely difficult to model with today’s simulation approaches.


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In a superconductor, everything happens at once | Cornell Chronicle

In a superconductor, everything happens at once | Cornell Chronicle | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

Scientists are closing in on the secret recipe for high-temperature superconductors. The secret ingredients are still unknown, but new research at Cornell and Brookhaven National Laboratory has revealed a little more about how they are mixed. Three previously observed events associated with the emergence of superconductivity turn out to occur at the same time.

 
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A new look at high-temperature superconductors - MIT News Office

A new look at high-temperature superconductors - MIT News Office | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

MIT researchers' new method for observing the motion of electron density waves in a superconducting material led to the detection of two different kinds of variations in those waves: amplitude (or intensity) changes and phase changes, shifting the relative positions of peaks and troughs of intensity. These new findings could make it easier to search for new kinds of higher-temperature superconductors.

 While the phenomenon of superconductivity — in which some materials lose all resistance to electric currents at extremely low temperatures — has been known for more than a century, the temperature at which it occurs has remained too low for any practical applications. The discovery of “high-temperature” superconductors in the 1980s — materials that could lose resistance at temperatures of up to negative 140 degrees Celsius — led to speculation that a surge of new discoveries might quickly lead to room-temperature superconductors. Despite intense research, these materials have remained poorly understood.


There is still no agreement on a single theory to account for high-temperature superconductivity. Recently, however, researchers at MIT and elsewhere have found a new way to study fluctuating charge-density waves, which are the basis for one of the leading theories. The researchers say this could open the door to a better understanding of high-temperature superconductivity, and perhaps prompt new discoveries of higher-temperature superconductors.


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Mercor's curator insight, February 25, 2013 11:59 AM

Scooped by Dr. Stefan Gruenwald onto Amazing Science

Group7's curator insight, October 20, 2014 7:56 AM

This shows MIT researchers' new method for observing the motion of electron density waves in a superconducting material which led to the detection of two different kinds of variations in those waves: amplitude changes and phase changes, shifting the relative positions of peaks and troughs of intensity. These new findings could make it easier to search for new kinds of higher-temperature superconductors.