Quantum physics have helped scientists to turn the superconductor into insulator

Квантовая физика помогла ученым превратить сверхпроводник в изолятор

Physicists from the United States were able to turn the superconductor to the insulator, creating in it a kind of zone of “quantum uncertainty” with the help of weak magnetic fields, which will help to reveal the secrets of their work at high temperatures, according to a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports.

“By developing new technologies, we’re always trying to squeeze more and more useful from the quantum properties of different materials, but they always contain impurities that impede the realisation of this task. We have shown that in superconductors there are random quantum effects arising from the magnetic fields and defects. Their study will help us understand what limits the operation of superconductors,” said Jim Wallis (Jim Vallis) from brown University (USA).

In accordance with generally accepted today, the theory of superconductivity many metals and alloys begin to conduct electricity without any resistance at low temperatures due to the fact that the electrons in them start to unite in so-called Cooper pairs.

Such pairs of particles do not behave as individual electrons, but as waves, and are a single unit from the point of view of the laws of quantum physics that allows them to conduct electricity with zero losses.

It tells Wallis, Cooper pairs simply break, raising the temperature inside the superconductor, or by placing it in a strong magnetic field which will cause electrons to “break” the relationship and begin an independent life. It turned out that in addition to these two powerful methods, there is another way of turning the superconductor into an insulator that affect the quantum properties of matter.

Under normal conditions electrons move through it freely, however, if one of these holes act very weak magnetic field, there is a kind of quantum “crater” around which will move the flow of electric current. These structures will prevent further movement of Cooper pairs and turn this “sponge” in a conventional insulator, despite the fact that the magnetic field of such strength is usually not able to penetrate into the superconductor and destroy pairs of electrons itself.

According to Wallis, this trick can help physicists to understand the properties of high-temperature superconductors able to operate at nearly “natural” temperatures, responsible for their amazing properties and how they can improve and reach room superconductivity, suppressing the emergence of such “craters” and related defects.