Quantum mechanical speed limit in metals

Table of contents:

Quantum mechanical speed limit in metals
Quantum mechanical speed limit in metals
Anonim

Subatomic Speed Limit

In a strange class of metals, electrons seem to release their energy as fast as the laws of quantum mechanics allow. Researchers are trying to better understand this phenomenon and hope to unveil the final mysteries of superconductivity.

Image
Image

More than three decades ago, physicists discovered that some metals behave in an extremely unusual way when they cool down: their electrons collide wildly within a very short time, making the materials more electrically resistive than ordinary conductors. The amazing thing is that these so-called "strange metals" suddenly become superconducting below a critical temperature.

These include different materials that are not similar in terms of their structure, their crystal structure or their other chemical properties. In November 2018, the team led by Anaëlle Legros from the Université de Sherbrooke in Canada also observed the strange behavior of the electrons in a large group of ceramic crystals, so-called cuprates. Previous studies, notably a 2013 paper by Andrew Mackenzie of the University of St Andrews in Scotland and his colleagues, had already shown that electrons in other exotic superconducting compounds such as strontium ruthenate, pnictides and tetramethyltetrathiafulvalene apparently lose their energy as quickly as possible through violent collisions convert to heat.

But what exactly causes the particles to do this is not known…

Image
Image

Popular topic