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Materials known as Mott insulators are odd things. Under normal electron band theory they ought to conduct electricity, but they do not, due to interactions among their electrons. But now, scientists from the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research have shown that pulses of light could be used to turn these materials beyond simple conductors to superconductors -- materials that conduct electricity without energy loss. This process would happen through an unconventional type of superconductivity known as "eta pairing."

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Category: Science