Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A BCS-Like Gap for the New Iron-Arsenic Superconductor

This ought to throw a large wrench into any similarities between the copper-oxide superconductors and the newly-found iron-arsenic superconductors. A new measurement of the superconducting gap of the latter found that they behave very much like that predicted by the conventional, good-old BCS theory[1]. This means that, even though the crystal structure has similarities with the copper-oxide superconductor (and the notion that maybe the same theory might be applicable as well), the behavior so far rules out many of the exotic theories that have been set up for the copper-oxide superconductors. The authors argue that in light of this, new theories may be needed to describe the iron-arsenic superconductors.

Fasten your seatbelts, folks. It's going to be a long and bumpy ride here as more experimental data pour in.


[1] T.Y. Chen et al., Nature v.453, p.761 (2008).

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