The Cuprate Pairing Mechanism

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Science  21 May 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5418, pp. 1282-1283
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5418.1282

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More than a decade after the discovery of the high-transition temperature superconducting copper oxides, the microscopic mechanism that enables the lossless conduction of current is unknown. In his Perspective, Scalapino discusses results reported in the same issue by Dai et al. that indicate the importance of magnetic interactions in these materials. Although the results do not single out a particular mechanism, they do greatly narrow the range of choices.