Strange metal behavior was first noticed around 30 years ago. These materials are composed of copper-oxides and carry the properties of being high-temperature superconductors. This means they can transfer electricity very efficiently, withstanding much higher temperatures with less energy loss than normal conductors.
The way in which they do this has baffled scientists for centuries, due to the complex mathematics that is needed to understand their incredible powers. “To try to understand what’s happening in these strange metals, people have applied mathematical approaches similar to those used to understand black holes,” stated Jim Valles, a professor of physics at Brown University. “So there’s some very fundamental physics happening in these materials.”
A team, led by Valles, has gotten one step closer to understanding this phenomenon. Published in Nature, the results discuss how “wave-like” entities, termed Cooper pairs, carry electrical charge through the metal. In regular metallic structures electrons carry out this job.
Why is this discovery so important?
This new finding could have massive implications. Once scientists understand what gives superconductors these properties, humans may be able to harness their powers of energy efficiency. From energy lossless power grids to quantum computing, less wasteful systems could be set up which is important for us humans in reducing our carbon footprint on the world.
This information is also fundamental to understanding the universe around us and will maybe shed some light on how our mysterious world works.
Source study: Nature – Signatures of a strange metal in a bosonic system