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Fri Oct 18, 2013, 11:40 AM

Grand Unifying Theory of High-Temp Superconducting Materials Proposed

Conventional superconductivity (basically what happens in some pure metals when they're cooled to liquid helium temperatures) has been adequately explained for fifty years by BCS theory. But so far, high-temperature "exotic" superconductivity (mostly complex ceramics cooled by "only" liquid nitrogen) has been a mystery; there's no single simple electronic phenomenon that appears in all the different classes of materials that exhibit unconventional superconductivity, rather, they all behave in different, complex, ways. But..

Now Sťamus Davis, a physicist who's conducted experiments on many of these materials at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and Cornell University, and Dung-Hai Lee, a theorist at DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, postulate a set of key principles for understanding the superconductivity and the variety of "intertwined" electronic phenomena that applies to all the families of high-Tc superconductors.

The already dense enough summary is here; if you understand spin-density waves and the Pomeranchuk instability, the full paper (free!) is here.

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