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Thu, September 8, 2016
The nearly 80-year-old correlated electron problem remains largely unsolved; with one stunning success being BCS electron-phonon mediated "conventional" superconductivity. There are dozens of families of superconductors that are "unconventional" including the high-Tc cuprate, iron-based, and heavy fermion superconductors. Although these materials are disparate in many properties, some of their fundamental properties are strikingly similar, including their ubiquitous phase diagram in which the superconductivity emerges near a magnetic phase transition and some very strange electronic phases that arise in the non-superconducting states. A recent research direction is towards the fundamental understanding of these phases in the hopes to predictively design higher-Tc, Jc, and practical new superconductors.
Laura Greene provides a critical look at all superconducting materials and the various theories, with a classification of conventional and unconventional materials, and considerations for new materials yet undiscovered.