Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
A material found to carry current in a way never before observed (phys.org)
64 points by neo4sure on Aug 2, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 17 comments

> Scientists at the Florida State University-headquartered National High Magnetic Field Laboratory have discovered a behavior in materials called cuprates that suggests they carry current in a way entirely different from conventional metals such as copper.

> The research, published today in the journal Science, adds new meaning to the materials' moniker, "strange metals."

> Although scientists understand the physics of LTS, they haven't yet cracked the nut of HTS materials. Exactly how the electrons travel through these materials remains the biggest mystery in the field.

The biggest mystery in the field... of science?

> The biggest mystery in the field... of science?

The biggest mystery in the magnetic field at their laboratory. /s

They probably meant something like the field of HTS material physics.

In the field of condensed matter physics.

For reasons of my own, I think this will turn out to be a pretty important clue as to the nature of super conductivity. Something I wonder is if resistivity would go down in response to a high electric field.

If you already know what's going on, then please let us know already. For reasons of my own I think the nature of super conductivity is going to be an important part of future technological developments!

Heh, if knew what was going on I would be building some Tony Stark level gadgets already :-), but what I have been observing are the number of papers being produced around new observations or interpretations of the interaction between the electromagnetic forces and quantum effects.

I have also observed over the years that, like debugging complex problems, once experimental physicists can repeat an effect that is not well understood, the underlying physics is more likely to be revealed.

I wrote Dr. Shekhter and he said an updated paper would be available on Arxiv shortly.(arxiv:1705.05806) so I'm looking for that.

"High" temperature superconductors have been interesting for a while. My thought is that if there is a way to understand this current conductivity using quantum electrodynamics it could open a way to understanding how to create super conductors that operate at room temperature.


"The fact that the linear-in-field resistivity mirrored so elegantly the previously known linear-in-temperature resistivity of LSCO is highly significant, Shekhter said.

"Usually when you see such things, that means that it's a very simple principle behind it," he said.

So what applications this will have ?

It this leads to room temperature superconductivity, it could allow MRI scanners to operate without the need of expensive helium-based coolant system. And this could also mean that if they can use it in PCB, you could have a CPU that doesn't release heat.

The implication of heatless CPUs and less need for cooling would have a tremendous impact in datacenters.

As far as I can tell room temp SC would be more beneficial to power transmission than anything. The energy could be zipped along from wherever it is generated most efficiently with little loss.

Successful room temp SC wouldn't be able to produce heatless CPUs because the transistor mechanism has to work by essentially a changing resistance level. So the billions of transistors themselves would still give off heat, but not the wires connecting them. I'm not sure what percentage heat comes from the transistors vs conduits between those transistors. Significant boost in efficiency / reduction in heat, but not heatless.

In general the power consumption is in the transistors, and related more directly to junction capacitance, voltage, and frequency than to resistance.

The vast majority of CPU power dissipation is from dumping gate capacitance to ground - not the resistance of the interconnects. It's akin to filling (very small) buckets of water and dumping them back out billions of times a second.

Zero resistance interconnects would allow us to charge those gates faster resulting higher clock speeds though.

If they can figure out how to make circuits with a material that operates as a superconductor at practical operating temperatures, it would have wide application. But I don't think that's what the article is saying. More of an interesting step on a possible path to that desired outcome.

No observations here, still ;-)

> discovered a behavior in materials called cuprates that suggests they carry current in a way entirely different from conventional metals such as copper.

Well, cuprates are copper-based molecules, so a better wording would be "they carry current in a way entirely different from metallic copper or other metals."

No, that would be as if I said Water is less flammable than Hydrogen and you had replied: "But Water is just Oxygenated Hydrogen!!"

No, you're missing a level of subtlety. The author made it sound like there was no relationship between cuprates and copper, but in fact cuprate molecules include copper atoms. In fact, cuprates are a new family of superconductors because of their copper content.

Your metaphor doesn't add any information, since water is less flammable than hydrogen.

Applications are open for YC Winter 2022

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact