Gaps, Pseudogaps, and Occam's Razor

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Science  30 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5415, pp. 752-753
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5415.752

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Angle-Resolved Photoelectron Spectroscopy, or ARPES, is an important tool which allows direct observation of occupied electron states in a material. Recent advances in improving the resolution of this method, together with the vastly improved quality of crystals of many materials, have led to the observation of features such as gaps in the photoelectron spectrum which have been difficult to understand. Arko discusses a paper by Joynt (page 777) which shows that the observed effects may be extrinsic, that is part of the photoemission process, rather than intrinsic to the material and thus requiring a new physical explanation. The study may be important in a wide range of materials, from collossal magnetoresistant materials to superconductors.