Low-Energy Excitations in High-Temperature Superconductors

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Science  04 Jul 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5322, pp. 50-52
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5322.50

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Patrick A. Lee Superconductivity in some metals is the result of electrons forming pairs that travel through the material without resistance. Although the mechanism in this process is understood in many materials, it remains only partly understood regarding high-transition-temperature copper oxide superconductors. In his Perspective, Lee discusses results in the same issue by Krishana et al. that indicate unusual properties of excitations in the copper oxides known as "quasiparticles," particularly with regard to the transport of heat by these excitations. A better understanding of these quantum mechanical superpositions of electron and hole states should reveal more about the superconducting state itself.