Physicists at the US Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory and theoreticians from the University of Alabama Birmingham found a new state of matter in a superconducting material. More specifically, the scientists uncovered a long-lived state of matter in iron pnictide superconductors, showing a laser-induced structure of behaviors that compete with superconductivity, as reported by Phys.
“Superconductivity is a strange state of matter, in which the pairing of electrons makes them move faster. One of the big problems we are trying to solve is how different states in a material compete for those electrons, and how to balance competition and cooperation to increase the temperature at which a superconducting state emerges,” explained Jigang Wang, a physicist at the Ames Laboratory and also a professor at Iowa State University.
The experiment of the physicists revealed that the new competing state of matter in a superconducting material helps scientists understand these materials more and built new superconducting electronics and energy-effective devices.
Superconducting Material Revealed A New Competing State of Matter
Jigang Wang and his colleagues from the Ames Laboratory and the University of Alabama Birmingham used laser pulses of less than a trillionth of a second, similar to flash photography, and took a series of snapshots.
The before-mentioned technique, so-called terahertz spectroscopy, can be deemed as a “laser strobe photography” which shows fast images that reveal the movements of the electron pairings within the subjected superconducting material. The method involves the use of long wavelength far-infrared light to uncover the characteristics of the electron pairings and their motions. With this breakthrough, scientists can now develop improved superconducting electronics and energy-friendly gadgets.
“The ability to see these real-time dynamics and fluctuations is a way to understanding them better so that we can create better superconducting electronics and energy-efficient devices,” affirmed Jigang Wang, the study’s leading author, cited by Phys.
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