Superconductivity is defined by a promise of future applications such as electric power transmission, high-performance smart grid, electric motors, power storage devices, magnetic levitation devices, etc. The history of superconductivity is fascinating, and the journey began in 1911 by a Dutch physicist named Heike Kamerlingh Onnes.
Ever since then, this field of study has only evolved into something that can be put into a plethora of applications in the present times.
A recent news suggtes that a team of American experimentalists at the University of Alabama Birmingham has discovered an all new state of matter, with the power to actually compete with superconductivity. This state of matter is surprisingly long-lived and comes in an iron-based superconductor known as Iron Pnictide.
The state of matter also demonstrates a laser-induced formation that reveals collective behaviors having the capability to compete with superconductivity.
As revealed by Jigang Wang, a professor in the Iowa State University and laboratory physicist at the Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory where the experiments took place, “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.”
As a part of this experiment, the researchers and physicist including Wang also attempted to take snapshots in chronological order using laser pulses that worked according to the same premise on which flash photography functions. In this process known as the terahertz spectroscopy technique, numerous quick images resembling laser strobe photography revealed the nuanced movement in which electron pairings functioned inside the materials.
These pairings further used far-infrared light of a long wavelength.
In line with the other studies and research conducted in the superconductivity industry, this experiment carried out by Wang and his team has opened up an all-new avenue of research in the world of superconductivity. The topic of superconductivity, despite its promising applications, has been getting rather stagnant in recent years.
That said, this new experiment shows a lot of promise and is a step in the right direction for physicists to successfully exploit its possibilities in the future. As shared by Wang himself, “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.”
Hence, it is a great step forward in the field of research and a massive inspiration for fellow researchers to continue their work in this field and come up with new and improved breakthroughs. Given the advantages of superconductivity, humanity is bound to benefit from it and reap its benefits in several industries such as medicine, healthcare, and engineering.