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Special Seminar: High temperature superconductivity: a scientific crisis awaiting a paradigm shift

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Special Seminar by Jorge Hirsch, University of California San Diego
When
10 December 2013 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Where
339 Davey Laboratory
Contact Name
Contact Phone
(814)777-3450
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High temperature cuprate superconductors were discovered 27 years ago, and there is no consensus to date on the origin of the phenomenon. Many other families of superconducting materials have been discovered in the last 40 years that do not fit the conventional framework. A consequence of this is that there are no useful theoretical guidelines in the search for new higher Tc superconducting materials, despite claims to the opposite. I argue that the field is in crisis, and that the reason for this crisis is the unwillingness of the scientific community to consider the possibility that low temperature "conventional" superconductors are not well understood either. I argue that well-known phenomena such as the Meissner effect and the London moment are not explained by the conventional theory of superconductivity. I will describe work by our group started 25 years ago that aims to describe all superconducting materials within the same framework. Within our theory of "hole superconductivity", superconductivity is driven by lowering of quantum kinetic energy of the charge carriers, and can only occur if the carriers in the normal state have hole-like character. The theory provides simple and intuitive explanations for the Meissner effect and the London moment and predicts new phenomena in superconductors as yet unobserved, such as a "Spin Meissner effect". It also provides guidelines in the search for new high temperature superconductors, and reveals an unrecognized deep connection between superconductivity and superfluidity in 4He.

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