Waterloo Physicists Find New Properties Of Superconductivity

Posted: Feb 5 2016, 1:47pm CST | by , Updated: Feb 5 2016, 10:01pm CST, in News | Latest Science News

Photo credit: University of Waterloo

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A team of international scientists led by physicists from the University of Waterloo continue to research into the properties of superconductivity – a situation where electricity is conducted with almost zero resistance in certain materials.

Physicists are convinced that if they understand this phenomenon and able to recreate it at closer to room temperatures, that they could be able to create ultra-efficient power grids and magnetically levitating vehicles among other great technologies.

In a study published in the journal Science, the Waterloo physicist David Hawthorn, Canada Research Chair Michel Gingras, doctoral student Andrew Achkar, and post-doctoral student Zhihao Hao showed proof of electronic nematicity – a situation whereby electron clouds snap into an aligned and directional order in a specific type of high-temperature superconductor.

“In this study, we identify some unexpected alignment of the electrons – a finding that is likely generic to the high-temperature superconductors and in time may turn out be a key ingredient of the problem,” said Hawthorn, a professor in Waterloo’s Department of Physics and Astronomy.

The proof the scientists put forward indicate that electronic nematicity is a general feature of cuprate high-temperature superconductors – where cuprates are copper-oxide ceramics made up of two-dimensional layers of planes of copper and oxygen atoms divided largely by other atoms.

“It has become apparent in the past few years that the electrons involved in superconductivity can form patterns, stripes or checkerboards, and exhibit different symmetries – aligning preferentially along one direction,” Hawthorn revealed. “These patterns and symmetries have important consequences for superconductivity – they can compete, coexist or possibly even enhance superconductivity.”

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/52" rel="author">Charles I. Omedo</a>
Charles is covering the latest discoveries in science and health as well as new developments in technology. He is the Chief Editor or Intel-News.




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