Research NewsMaterials Science

Superconductivity Turns 10

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Science  29 Mar 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5257, pp. 1804-1806
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5257.1804

Summary

Houston—A decade after their discovery, compounds that superconduct electricity at high temperatures are making it into the real world—although no one can prove how they work. And 2 weeks ago in Houston, at the 10th Anniversary High-Temperature Superconductivity (HTS) Workshop on Physics, Materials, and Applications, both practical accomplishments and theoretical frustrations took center stage. Thin HTS films are now being tested for use in filtering signals from noise in cellular phone base stations, a huge market, and the first HTS underground power transmission cable was just made with a standard industrial process. Yet while a cluster of recent experiments has supported the idea that HTS is borne on magnetically paired electrons, concurrent theoretical developments have thrown some very cold water on that idea.