Scientists Discover an Invisible Phenomenon

Electricity Superconductivity Concept

The discovery is a step towards much more accessible superconductivity.

It may be possible to develop superconductors that operate at room temperature with further knowledge of the relationship between spin liquids and superconductivity, which would transform our daily lives.

Superconductors offer enormous technical and economic promise for applications such as high-speed hovertrains, MRI machines, efficient power lines, Bar-Ilan University and recently published in the journal Nature makes progress in resolving this ongoing mystery. Using a scanning SQUID (superconducting quantum interference device) magnetic microscope, the researchers photographed a phenomenon that had previously been invisible to other techniques.

Scientists were taken aback when high-temperature superconductors were initially uncovered. Scientists had assumed that good superconductivity would be found in metals. Contrary to predictions, it was found that insulating ceramic materials are the best superconductors. 

Finding properties that are common to these ceramic materials may help identify where their superconductivity originated from and improve control over the critical temperature. One such property is that the electrons in these materials resist each other strongly. They are thus unable to move freely. They are instead trapped inside a periodic lattice structure.

Electrons have two defining properties: their charge (a moving charge results in an electric current) and their spin. Spin is the quantum property of electrons responsible for their magnetic properties. It is as if a tiny bar magnet is attached to each electron. In ordinary materials, the charge and spin are “built-in” to the electrons and cannot be…

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