Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Two Unrelated Items

Unrelated, but physics is everywhere.

1) What would you do if you were a sports photographer, and you happened to walk across the javelin throwing area trying to get a better picture of the discus being thrown? Why, take a picture of what happened to you, of course.

2) A new family of high temperature superconductors (link to Physics Today article via Chad's daily lists). The Tc is only 26 K, but this work clearly opens a completely new path for study, since these are quite unlike the YBCO-type materials discovered about 20 years ago.

*) Ooops, make that three: an IHE article on measuring 'college success' to think about later.

For more info on item 1, just google up "javelin through leg". He is sure lucky that the trajectory had it skip off of his shin.

The formula of the new material in item 2 is La O 1-x F x Fe As, with x=0.11 giving the highest transition temperature. (Side remark: Fluorine? Arsenic? Lots of nasty ingredients in this one!)

What is most striking is that there is evidence that phonons are NOT responsible for the formation of Cooper pairs! If this is truly nothing like a BCS material, the observation is stunning and might help understand what is going on in YBCO materials. It is also a Nobel Prize waiting to be won. Given the remarks about magnetic fluctuations playing a role, I predict this will suck all of the computer cycles away from Lattice QCD and back into spin models of magnetic materials.

1 comment:

Schlupp said...

In the meantime, the new superconductors have reached about 50 K.