A surprising quantum effect in an exotic superconductor

Nov. 21, 2019

An international team led by researchers at Princeton University has directly observed a surprising quantum effect in a high-temperature iron-containing superconductor.  

The researchers probed the behavior of iron-based superconductors when impurities – namely atoms of cobalt – are added to explore how superconductivity forms and dissipates. Their findings led to new insights into a 60-year old theory of how superconductivity behaves. The study was published in the journal Physical Review Letters this week.

Adding impurities is a useful way to learn about the behavior of superconductors, said M. Zahid Hasan, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics at Princeton University, who led the research team. "It is like the way we probe the wave behavior of water in the lake by throwing a stone," he said. "The way the superconducting properties react to the impurity reveals their secrets with quantum-level detail."

Read the story on the Discovery: Research at Princeton blog.