Sofia Richie and Pia Mia feature on the cover image for this post, so you might think you know what this post is about, but all will be revealed in the next paragraph.
It’s pretty exciting times at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory at the moment. It’s not every day you create the very first pure. single-crystal sample of a new iron arsenide superconductor called CaKFe4As4. The material throws everything we know about superconductivity out the window. It’s most notable feature is the fact that it has a superconducting temperature of 35k, without the usual small amounts of additional elements called dopants.
Dopants (like cobalt or nickel) is normally used to induce superconductivity, but at the same time sort of fucks up the entire process as well. CaKFe4As4 on the other hand gives scientists an opportunity to study superconductivity in nigh pristine conditions, independent from interference from dopants.
Using a high resolution angle resolved photoemission spectroscopy and density functional theory researchers found that long-standing theoretical models of superconductivity were totally out of wack with reality. In particular their results contradicted the widely accepted antiferromagnetic fluctuation model, a subject so obscure it doesn’t have a specific wikipedia article. Although I guess this counts.
Adam Kaminski, Ames Laboratory scientist and professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Iowa State University said in a release that “the predictions of previous models are at only partly valid, and there many aspects that are not completely understood. What our work has achieved is to create a new clean avenue of research, towards finding a general model to explain the behavior of these novel superconductors.”
It’s an exciting time in the world of superconduction and you only found out because you took a chance and clicked on this dubious article for tits.