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Physicists have discovered a new type of superconductivity and a previously unknown state of matter

 An international group of physicists from Germany and Switzerland experimentally discovered and confirmed the existence of a previously unknown state of matter accompanying the effect of superconductivity. The phenomenon turned out to be so unique that it is very difficult to predict the consequences of the discovery today, although it gives high hopes for a breakthrough in the field of superconductivity and quantum devices. This is the first practical step into a new area of ​​expertise.

The phenomenon of superconductivity, which has been known for over a hundred years, has been very well studied. But this does not negate the fact that the search for materials for high-temperature superconductivity - ideally at room temperature - physicists are actually doing by touch. Nevertheless, in general, scientists have a clear mathematically and physically proven understanding of the processes. In particular, the phenomenon of superconductivity relies on the pairing of electrons and the travel of these pairs, called Cooper, through the material in the superconducting state. But suddenly it turned out that electrons are able to combine in groups of four, which no one has ever recorded.

However, the assembly of electrons in superconductors of four in a group was theoretically predicted about ten years ago. The search for such conditions has been devoted to the last two years in the course of multiple experiments in Germany and Switzerland. Physicists studied the properties of the so-called iron pnictides and, in particular, the compounds Ba 1 - x K x Fe 2 As 2.

“When we discovered that four electrons instead of two suddenly form a bond, we first thought it was a measurement error. But the more methods we used to confirm the result, the clearer it became that this must be a new phenomenon: all the data agree with the same result. We now know that a family of four-particle electrons in some metals, when cooled to ultra-low temperatures, creates a completely new state of matter. Where this will lead in the future will become clear in the next few years, ”commented one of the group leaders, Professor Hans-Henning Klauss from the Technical University of Dresden.

In addition to Prof. Hans-Henning Clauss, Dr. Vadim Grinenko from the TU Dresden and Prof. Yegor Babaev from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm took significant part in the work on the results of the current study. The experiments were carried out at the Swiss Paul Scherrer Institute in Willigen, as well as at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research in Dresden, the laboratory of high-field magnets at the Helmholtz Center Dresden-Rossendorf and the AIST Institute in Tsukuba (Japan). An article about the work was published in the publication Nature .


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