Scientists understand quite well how temperature affects electrical conductance in most everyday metals like copper or silver. But in recent years, researchers have turned their attention to a class of materials that do not seem to follow the traditional electrical rules. Understanding these so-called "strange metals" could provide fundamental insights into the quantum world, and potentially help scientists understand strange phenomena like high-temperature superconductivity.
Now, a research team co-led by a Brown University physicist has added a new discovery to the strange metal mix. In research published in the journal Nature, the team found strange metal behavior in a material in which electrical charge is carried not by electrons, but by more "wave-like" entities called Cooper pairs.
While electrons belong to a class of particles called fermions, Cooper pairs act as bosons, which follow very different rules from fermions. This is the first time strange metal behavior has been seen in a bosonic system, and researchers are hopeful that the discovery might be helpful in finding an explanation for how strange metals work—something that has eluded scientists for decades.
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