A new system for exploring superconductivity
An intriguing quantum effect first observed in superconductors has been replicated in an ultracold gas confined to two dimensions, opening a new window to explore the physics underpinning superconductivity.
Superconductors have many fascinating properties in addition to their well-known ability to conduct electricity without resistance. For example, if you connect two superconductors using an electrical insulator — a system known as a Josephson junction — a current will flow between the superconductors without the application of a voltage provided their wave functions have a phase difference.
Now, researchers at Universität Hamburg have realized a Josephson junction in an ultracold two-dimensional gas. They observed oscillations in their system that exactly mirror those seen in Josephson junctions based on superconductors.
This system is promising for gleaning key insights into the mechanism that drives high-temperature superconductivity, which is still not well understood.
- Science 369, 89–91 (2020). doi: 10.1126/science.aaz2342