“Not only does God play dice but… he sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen,” said Stephen Hawking about the paradoxical physics of black Holes. Welcome to the bizarre quantum world of “strange metals” –a new state of matter.
“The fact that we call them strange metals should tell you how well we understand them. Strange metals share remarkable properties with black holes, opening exciting new directions for theoretical physics,” says Olivier Parcollet, a senior research scientist at the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Quantum Physics (CCQ), about the quantum world of metals that dissipate energy as fast as they’re allowed to under the laws of quantum mechanics. The electrical resistivity of a strange metal, unlike that of ordinary metals, is proportional to the temperature.
Even by the standards of quantum physicists, reports the Flatiron Institute, strange metals are just plain odd. Generating a theoretical understanding of strange metals is one of the biggest challenges in condensed matter physics.
A challenge compounded by the creator of quantum physics and Nobel Prize laureate, Max Planck’s observation that science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. “And that is because,” he said, “in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”
Now, using cutting-edge computational techniques, researchers from the Flatiron Institute and Cornell University report in a paper accepted in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that strange metals are a new state of matter.
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